Mitochondrial DNA supports the identification of two endangered river sharks (Glyphis glyphis and Glyphis garricki) across northern Australia

L WYNEN, H LARSON, D THORBURN, S PEVERELL, D MORGAN, Iain Field, Karen Gibb

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The river sharks (genus Glyphis) are a small group of poorly known sharks occurring in tropical rivers and estuarine waters across northern Australia, south-east Asia and the subcontinent. The taxonomy of the genus has long been unclear due to very few individuals having been caught and examined, resulting in a paucity of data regarding their distribution, biology and ecology. Only recently has attention focussed on the two Australian species, G. glyphis and G. garricki. This study is a result of a rare opportunity to collate the few samples that have been collected from these species and the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, which shares an overlapping range. These samples were analysed using the DNA barcoding approach (cox1 mitochondrial gene), compared with six other species of carcharhinids and evaluated in light of the current taxonomic classification. Nine species-specific nucleotide differences were found between G. glyphis and G. garricki and no intra-specific variation provides strong support for the separation into distinct species. Significant differences were also observed at the inter-generic level, with Glyphis forming a distinct clade from Carcharhinus. This study provides the basis for future molecular studies required to better address conservation issues confronting G. glyphis and G. garricki in Australia. � 2009 CSIRO.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)554-562
    Number of pages9
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Volume60
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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