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      The invasive land planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae): records from six new localities, including the first in the USA

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          The land planarian Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 or “New Guinea flatworm” is a highly invasive species, mainly in the Pacific area, and recently in Europe (France). We report specimens from six additional countries and territories: New Caledonia (including mainland and two of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou and Maré), Wallis and Futuna Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida, USA. We analysed the COI gene (barcoding) in these specimens with two sets of primers and obtained 909 bp long sequences. In addition, specimens collected in Townsville (Australia) were also sequenced. Two haplotypes of the COI sequence, differing by 3.7%, were detected: the “World haplotype” found in France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Singapore, Florida and Puerto Rico; and the “Australian haplotype” found in Australia. The only locality with both haplotypes was in the Solomon Islands. The country of origin of Platydemus manokwari is New Guinea, and Australia and the Solomon Islands are the countries closest to New Guinea from which we had specimens. These results suggest that two haplotypes exist in the area of origin of the species, but that only one of the two haplotypes (the “World haplotype”) has, through human agency, been widely dispersed. However, since P. manokwari is now recorded from 22 countries in the world and we have genetic information from only 8 of these, with none from New Guinea, this analysis provides only partial knowledge of the genetic structure of the invasive species. Morphological analysis of specimens from both haplotypes has shown some differences in ratio of the genital structures but did not allow us to interpret the haplotypes as different species. The new reports from Florida and Puerto Rico are firsts for the USA, for the American continent, and the Caribbean. P. manokwari is a known threat for endemic terrestrial molluscs and its presence is a matter of concern. While most of the infected territories reported until now were islands, the newly reported presence of the species in mainland US in Florida should be considered a potential major threat to the whole US and even the Americas.

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          Parasite speciation within or between host species?--phylogenetic evidence from site-specific polystome monogeneans.

          Partial nuclear 28S ribosomal RNA and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences (953 and 385 nucleotides, respectively) of one fish monogenean (outgroup) and six polystome monogeneans (four Polystomoides spp. from the oral cavities and urinary bladders of freshwater turtles in Australia and Malaya, two Neopolystoma spp. from the urinary bladder and conjunctival sac of a freshwater turtle in Australia) were used to examine the question of whether congeneric species infecting different sites in the same host species have speciated in that host by adapting to different sites, or whether species infecting a particular site in one host have given rise to species infecting the same site in different hosts. Results show unequivocally that congeneric species infecting the same site, even of host species belonging to different suborders and occurring on different continents, are more closely related than congeneric species infecting different sites of the same host species. This is interpreted as meaning that speciation has not occurred in one host. Morphological evolution of polystomes has been very slow: few differences between species and even genera have evolved over a period of at least 150 Myr, and this is matched by low substitution rates of nucleotides, and the ambiguous position of species of different genera, depending on whether COI or 28S rDNA sequences are used.
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            Land planarians (Platyhelminthes) as a model organism for fine-scale phylogeographic studies: understanding patterns of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest hotspot.

            The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots of the world. Paleoclimatic models have predicted two large stability regions in its northern and central parts, whereas southern regions might have suffered strong instability during Pleistocene glaciations. Molecular phylogeographic and endemism studies show, nevertheless, contradictory results: although some results validate these predictions, other data suggest that paleoclimatic models fail to predict stable rainforest areas in the south. Most studies, however, have surveyed species with relatively high dispersal rates whereas taxa with lower dispersion capabilities should be better predictors of habitat stability. Here, we have used two land planarian species as model organisms to analyse the patterns and levels of nucleotide diversity on a locality within the Southern Atlantic Forest. We find that both species harbour high levels of genetic variability without exhibiting the molecular footprint of recent colonization or population expansions, suggesting a long-term stability scenario. The results reflect, therefore, that paleoclimatic models may fail to detect refugia in the Southern Atlantic Forest, and that model organisms with low dispersal capability can improve the resolution of these models. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
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              Molecular barcoding and phylogeography of sexual and asexual freshwater planarians of the genus Dugesia in the Western Mediterranean (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae).

              Planarians of the genus Dugesia have a worldwide distribution with high species diversity in the Mediterranean area. In this area, populations with a triploid karyotype that reproduce by fissiparity are exceptionally frequent, outnumbering the sexual populations. This situation poses interesting questions, such as the age of these asexual lineages, whether they all belong to the same species or whether the triploidization event is recurrent, and what factors (climatic, geographical, historical...) explain the prevalence of these asexual forms. However, asexual populations cannot be assigned to a species due to the lack of copulatory apparatus--the main structure used in species identification. In this study, we have developed a DNA barcoding method, based on COI and ITS-1 sequences, which allows the assignment of the fissiparous forms to sexual species. At the same time, phylogenetic analysis from species of the western Mediterranean have unveiled the presence of species with highly differentiated populations alongside species with a wide distribution and almost no genetic variation. The roles of habitat instability, dispersal capacity and human activities are briefly discussed.

                Author and article information

                PeerJ Inc. (San Francisco, USA )
                23 June 2015
                : 3
                [1 ]Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, ISYEB, UMR7205 CNRS, EPHE, MNHN, UPMC, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Sorbonne Universités , Paris, France
                [2 ]College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University , Townsville, Australia
                [3 ]Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels de Nouvelle-Calédonie (CEN NC), Pôle Espèces Envahissantes (PEE) , Koné, New Caledonia
                [4 ]Biosecurity Solomon Islands, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock , Honiara, Solomon Islands
                [5 ]Service de Systématique Moléculaire, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle , Paris, France
                [6 ]SingHealth Polyclinics, Marine Parade , Marine Parade Central, Singapore
                [7 ]Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico , San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
                [8 ]Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology, University of Kent , United Kingdom
                [9 ]National Parks Board , Singapore
                [10 ]Environnement et Cadre de Vie , Ville de Caen, Caen, France
                [11 ]Délégation à la Recherche, Gouvernement de la Polynésie française , Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
                [12 ]FREDON de Basse Normandie , Hérouville-Saint-Clair, France
                [13 ]USDA APHIS National Malacology Laboratory, Academy of Natural Sciences , Philadelphia, PA, USA
                [14 ]Service du Patrimoine Naturel, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle , Paris, France
                © 2015 Justine et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funded by: MNHN ATMs “Barcode” and “Emergences”
                MNHN ATMs “Barcode” and “Emergences” provided financial support for molecular analysis. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Agricultural Science
                Conservation Biology


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