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Molecular Identification of Two Red Algae Chondrus crispus and Mastocarpus stellatus Inferred from Nuclear Ribosomal 18S rRNA Gene Sequences

HU Zi-Min~(1,2),ZENG Xiao-Qi~1,DUAN De-Lin~2,Alan T.Critchley~3(1.Division of Life Science and Technology,Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003,China;2.Institute of Oceanology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Qingdao 266071,China;3.Acadian Seaplants Limited,30 Brown Avenue,Dartmouth,Nova Scotia,B3B 1×8,Canda)  
Chondrus crispus and Mastocarpus stellatus are two red algae with similar morphological characteristics and habitat.It is very difficult and controversial to identify them by classic taxonomic methods.In this study,the complete nuclear ribosomal 18S rRNA gene sequences of C.crispus and M.stellatus were sequenced and analyzed.The results indicated that there was little difference in the full length of 18S rRNA gene sequences and the composition of A,T,G,C bases between M.stellatus and C.crispus,but the nucleotide variation rate for 18S rRNA gene(2.75%) in M.stellatus was far larger than that in intraspecies and interspecies of Chondrus Stackhouse(0.00%~0.45%).Besides,the phylogenetic trees inferred from the sequences could discriminate the two red algal species clearly.These results indicate that nuclear ribosomal 18S rRNA gene sequences could identify C.crispus and M.stellatus as a molecular tool at the species level and may be widely used in red algal taxonomy.
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