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Species of the genus Daphnia, in particular the subgenus Hyalodaphnia, represent a taxonomically problematic group due to their phenotypic plasticity, local races and the formation of interspecific hybrids and backcrosses. In this study, we present a genetic approach utilising nuclear DNA to unequivocally identify species and interspecific hybrids. Several nuclear loci (ITS1-ITS2, CA14 and GA13) were amplified by PCR and products were subjected to diagnostic restriction enzymes (restriction fragment length polymorphism; RFLP). The application of this approach to several populations across Europe revealed that the markers are highly consistent and reproducible. In addition, we illustrate with a number of examples how this approach contributed to unravel previously unrecognised taxa, increased the sensitivity of biodiversity studies or contributed to the analysis of resting egg banks. Advantages and disadvantages of this approach compared to existing techniques are discussed and several empirical studies and their results are summarised. [KEYWORDS: Daphnia ; RFLP ; interspecific hybrids]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

ID: 85469