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Identification of calanoid copepod prey species via molecular detection of carbon fixation genes
Boling, W.B.; Sinclair, G.A.; Wawrik, B. (2012). Identification of calanoid copepod prey species via molecular detection of carbon fixation genes. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(5): 1165-1171. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1877-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Boling, W.B.
  • Sinclair, G.A.
  • Wawrik, B.

Abstract
    Zooplankton and their phytoplankton prey form the basis of the marine food web, yet historically it has been difficult to discern species-specific trophic interactions. Molecular techniques provide opportunities to obtain taxonomic data where the traditional methodologies for gut content analysis lack resolution. The large subunit gene of RubisC/O, rbcL, was utilized as a molecular marker for the identification of prey species in calanoid copepods. Clone libraries were generated from DNA extracted from seawater and whole copepods during a transect cruise on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf. Sequence data analysis provided evidence of diatoms, nanoplankton-sized chlorophytes, and cyanobacteria in DNA extracted from whole copepods. These data demonstrate that rbcL can be a useful marker for the identification of copepod phytoplankton prey. Combining the described approach with quantitative techniques such as quantitative PCR will provide opportunities for the assessment of species-specific predator–prey interactions.

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