Saunders. 2009. Routine DNA barcoding of Canadian Gracilariales (Rhodophyta) reveals the invasive species Gracilaria vermiculophylla in British Columbia. Molecular Ecology Resources 9:140–150
1. Please describe the morphology of each of these species in precise detail using the vocabulary of a professional in the field.***
2. What is the purpose of DNA barcoding? What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
3. The authors used 687 base pairs of the COI-5′ region to build their unrooted tree and make their species diagnosis. They also measured numerous morphological characteristics and concluded that “Gracilariales in eastern Canada and thus anatomical details are not necessary for identification.” What do you think of the balance between molecular and morphological evidence in this paper and in general?
4. Describe another scenario where DNA barcoding may be valuable as compared to conventional taxonomic approaches.
5. Aside from the molecular data, what are the four arguments that support the hypothesis that G. vermiculophylla is an invasive species in British Columbia?
6. Some obscure algal species that is hardly distinguishable from other species is introduced into an ecosystem. So what?
***ha, ha, ha