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Genes 2017, 8(12), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8120403

Ancient DNA Resolves the History of Tetragnatha (Araneae, Tetragnathidae) Spiders on Rapa Nui

1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
2
Entomology Department, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
3
Center for Comparative Genomics, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
4
Department of Environmental Science, University of California, 137 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3114, USA
5
Department of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel and Neglected Areas of Ancient DNA Research)
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Abstract

Rapa Nui is one of the most remote islands in the world. As a young island, its biota is a consequence of both natural dispersals over the last ~1 million years and recent human introductions. It therefore provides an opportunity to study a unique community assemblage. Here, we extract DNA from museum-preserved and newly field-collected spiders from the genus Tetragnatha to explore their history on Rapa Nui. Using an optimized protocol to recover ancient DNA from museum-preserved spiders, we sequence and assemble partial mitochondrial genomes from nine Tetragnatha species, two of which were found on Rapa Nui, and estimate the evolutionary relationships between these and other Tetragnatha species. Our phylogeny shows that the two Rapa Nui species are not closely related. One, the possibly extinct, T. paschae, is nested within a circumtropical species complex (T. nitens), and the other (Tetragnatha sp. Rapa Nui) appears to be a recent human introduction. Our results highlight the power of ancient DNA approaches in identifying cryptic and rare species, which can contribute to our understanding of the global distribution of biodiversity in all taxonomic lineages. View Full-Text
Keywords: arachnid; museum; ancient DNA; Rapa Nui; Tetragnatha arachnid; museum; ancient DNA; Rapa Nui; Tetragnatha
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cotoras, D.D.; Murray, G.G.R.; Kapp, J.; Gillespie, R.G.; Griswold, C.; Simison, W.B.; Green, R.E.; Shapiro, B. Ancient DNA Resolves the History of Tetragnatha (Araneae, Tetragnathidae) Spiders on Rapa Nui. Genes 2017, 8, 403.

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