Molecular assessment of commercial and laboratory stocks of Eisenia spp. (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) from South Africa

L. Voua Otomo, P. Voua Otomo, C. C. Bezuidenhout, M. S. Maboeta

Abstract


DNA barcoding was used to investigate laboratory and commercial stocks of Eisenia species from four provinces of South Africa. The COI gene was partially amplified and sequenced in selected earthworms from eight local populations (focal groups) and two European laboratory stocks (non-focal groups). Only nine COI haplotypes were identified from the 224 sequences generated. One of these haplotypes was found to belong to the megascolecid Perionyx excavatus. The remaining eight haplotypes belonged to the genus Eisenia, although only a single E. fetida haplotype, represented by six specimens, was found in one of the European populations. The other seven haplotypes, all occurring in South Africa, were E. andrei. One of the commercial stocks from South Africa and a laboratory culture from Europe were mixtures of E. andrei – P. excavatus and E. andrei – E. fetida, respectively. Previous allozyme studies have helped to suggest that some of the populations included in this study may be suffering from inbreeding depression, which could result in adverse consequences for both the vermiculture industry and ecotoxicological research in South Africa.

To cite this paper: Voua Otomo, L., Voua Otomo, P., Bezuidenhout, C.C. & Maboeta, M.S. 2013. Molecular assessment of commercial and laboratory stocks of Eisenia spp. (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) from South Africa. African Invertebrates 54 (2): 499–511.

Published electronically: 6 December 2013
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:1A2A7169-1C8D-4E07-BBFC-86826BC9B378


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