MEPS 246:307-310 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps246307

Use of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) as a new tool to explore the invasive green alga Caulerpa taxifolia in Australia

Nicole E. Murphy1,*, Britta Schaffelke2

1CSIRO Marine Research, Private Bag No. 5, Wembley, Western Australia 6913, Australia
2Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, PO Box 1379, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia

ABSTRACT: Caulerpa taxifolia is a high profile introduced alga in the Mediterranean Sea and California. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Australia. However, during 2000/01, 7 locations with abundant C. taxifolia were discovered in temperate waters around Sydney. To overcome limitations of resolution in previous studies using ITS (internal transcribed spacer) rDNA sequencing, we developed amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers for C. taxifolia, using 4 primer combinations. With this technique we found a close relationship between isolates from Moreton Bay (native) and Lake Conjola (introduced). The Mediterranean samples, which previously could not be separated from the other isolates, formed a discrete cluster supported by high bootstrap values. AFLP had greatly improved resolution over other molecular markers, making it a promising technique for further studies on the population structure of C. taxifolia and the assignment of source populations.


KEY WORDS: AFLP · ITS · Caulerpa taxifolia · Introduced species · Source populations · Seaweed


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