DNA- barcoding in the Gyratrix hermaphroditus species-complex: a case study on European populations

Pilot project
Thierry Backeljau (RBINS)
JEMU partner: 
Kurt Jordaens, Floris C. Breman
Project summary: 
The freeliving flatworm Gyratrix hermaphroditus is a "species" that occurs worldwide in all types of habitats, from marine to purely freshwater. Although different populations hardly show any morphological differences, karyological studies have shown that G. hermaphroditus clearly represents a complex of species. In this project we will develop molecular protocols that can be used to study this species complex, and especially to delineate ad recognize the separate species within the complex using bar-coding procedures. At this stage, these techniques will be evaluated in a case study only including the European populations of the species-complex. This will give the first insights in the molecular diversity within this complex on different scales, starting from within population differences to differences between populations on a European scale. This data will then be used to investigate speciation within the complex, perform phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses and to study the biogeography of the species complex in Europe.
Tom Artois and Bart Tessens (University of Hasselt)
Lab work progress: 
Data analysis: 
Starting date: 
Project status: 

Peer-reviewed paper
B. Tessens, M. Monnens, T. Backeljau, K. Jordaens, N. Van Steenkiste, F.C. Breman, K. Smeets & T. Artois, 2021. Is ‘everything everywhere’? Unprecedented cryptic diversity in the cosmopolitan flatworm Gyratrix hermaphroditus In press 2021, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12507.

Printed abstract

poster_Gybar_berlin2011Breman, F., Jordaens, K., Tessens, B., Backeljau, T., Smeets, K & Artois, T. 2011. Cryptic biodiversity and phylogeographic relationships in the freeliving flatworm Gyratrix hermaphroditus (Platyhelminthes, Kalyptorhynchia). BioSystematics Berlin 2011, Berlin, Germany, 21-27 February 2011.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith