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Free Content Systematic Relationships Between Tropical Corallimorpharians (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Corallimorpharia): Utility of the 5.8s and Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) Regions of the rRNA Transcription Unit

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The nucleotide sequences of a segment of the rRNA transcription unit spanning the 3'-end of the 18S rDNA to the 5'-end of the 28S rDNA were determined for the tropical corallimorpharians (Cnidaria: Anthozoa), Rhodactis howesii, R. mussoides, Amplexidiscus fenestrafer, Actinodiscus nummiformis, A. unguja and an undescribed species. Comparison of the 5.8S rDNA sequences indicated a close relationship between the genera Rhodactis and Amplexidiscus and a much more distant relationship between these two genera and Actinodiscus spp. The level of variation detected in this conserved region of the ribosomal transcription unit is not consistent with den Hartog's revision of the family Actinodiscidae to a single genus. Among the range of species studied, there was considerable variation in both length and % (G+C) content in the ITS regions. Both ITS sequences appear to be conserved within genera but highly variable between genera, and can therefore be used for generic assignment. Analysis of both ITS and 5.8S rRNA sequences supports assignment of the undescribed species to the genus Amplexidiscus.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1996

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