First record of Aequorea macrodactyla (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) from the Israeli coast of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, an alien species indicating invasive pathways

  • The species of Aequorea attract much scientific interest as they contain the unique Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). In this work we describe for the first time the discovery of a hydrozoan jellyfish belonging to the genus Aequorea from the Israeli eastern Mediterranean that contains and exhibits fluorescent protein. Finding Aequorea macrodactyla (Brandt, 1835) in the eastern Mediterranean indicates that changes are occurring in the gelatinous fauna of this area. This hydromedusa is known in the seas adjoining the Mediterranean though most of its records are more than four decades old. We examined and identified the newly discovered Israeli Aequorea species by combining two phylogenetic systems, traditional morphological phylogeny and molecular phylogenetics. The molecular identification determined that the species is A. macrodactyla but with minor genetic differences in the mtDNA 16S gene marker. A 1% difference between the Israeli and the Japanese A. macrodactyla was demonstrated, which suggests that the genetic difference between the Israeli and the Japanese population is small but existent. Invasive pathways for this jellyfish were examined by phylogenetic and taxonomic relationships with similar Cnidaria. The results indicate introduction from the Indo-Pacific as invasive pathway, probably by human transportation, and the discovery of A. macrodactyla in the eastern Mediterranean Sea could be interpreted as part of the changes in marine biota as a result of cumulative effects of anthropogenic and global changes that affect the eastern Mediterranean basin.

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Author:Gur A. Mizrahi, Eli Shemesh, Leen van Ofwegen, Dan Tchernov
Parent Title (English):NeoBiota
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/01/25
Tag:Aequorea macrodactyla; Lessepsian migration; anthropogenic changes; gelatinous fauna; hydromedusa; migration of jellyfish; phylogenetic markers
Page Number:16
First Page:55
Last Page:70
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:NeoBiota / NeoBiota 26
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0