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DNA Barcode Variability in Canadian Cnidaria

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Title: DNA Barcode Variability in Canadian Cnidaria
Author: Hotke, Kathryn M.
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Hebert, Paul D. N.
Abstract: This thesis investigates patterns of sequence variation in Canadian Cnidaria for the DNA barcode region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene. As such, it begins development of a DNA barcode reference library for this phylum. This work confirms the COI gene region as an effective tool for delineating currently recognized species of cnidarians and revealing cryptic species. As well, this study shows the value of COI barcodes in the identification of newly collected specimens and morphologically unusable specimen fragments. A detailed analysis of the genus Cyanea explores the incidence of cryptic taxa, revealing high genetic diversity. The results from this study have implications for the utility of DNA barcoding both for documenting biodiversity and broadening our understanding of biogeographic patterns of Cnidaria
Date: 2015-09
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