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Issue:ISSN 1000-7083
          CN 51-1193/Q
Director:Sichuan Association for Science and Technology
Sponsored by:Sichuan Society of Zoologists; Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation; Sichuan Association of Wildlife Conservation; Sichuan University
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Molecular identification of Euscorpiops validus and Euscorpiops puerensis based on mitochondrial COI gene sequences
Author of the article:LI Rong, ZHENG Yutian, et al.
Author's Workplace:School of Life Sciences, Yunnan University
Key Words:Euscorpiops validus;Euscorpiops puerensis;COI gene;Molecular identification

 The traditional classification and taxonomy of scorpiones are mainly based on morphological and behavioral characteristics. However, due to the similar morphological characteristics among species, it is difficult to classify and identify distinct species among scorpions. To compensate for the insufficiency of traditional taxonomic methodology, this study used mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit (CO) gene as molecular marker to conduct molecular identification of two morphologically similar scorpion species Euscorpiops validus and E. puerensis. The partial CO gene sequences (660 bp) from 24 samples of E. validus and E. puerensis were amplified by PCR followed by gene sequencing. The genetic distances, phylogenetic and haplotype network analyses were then carried out. The results showed that: 4 haplotypes with similarity of 99.3%–99.8% were detected in 15 individuals of E. validus, and 4 haplotypes with similarity of 99.6%–99.8% were found in 9 individuals of E. puerensis; the interspecific similarity was 90.1%-90.6% and the number of stable differentiated nucleotide sites between the haplotypes of two species was 61. The intraspecific average genetic distances among E. validus haplotypes and among E. puerensis haplotypes were 0.004 0 and 0.002 3, respectively, while the interspecific average genetic distance between E. validus and E. puerensis was 0.103 9, being 34.6 times higher than that of intraspecific values. In addition, molecular phylogenetic tree clearly showed that the haplotype sequences of E. validus and E. puerensis clustered as two reciprocally monophyletic clades with high bootstrap values (100%). The haplotype network also showed that 8 haplotypes of E. validus and E. puerensis can be clearly divided into two clades, and the mutation steps between HAP2 haplotype of E. validus and HAP7 haplotype of E. puerensis reached 62. These results further confirmed that E. validus and E. puerensis are two distinct species, and indicated that mitochondrial CO gene is suitable for molecular species identification of Euscorpiops species.

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