PCR survey of 50 introns in animals: Cross-amplification of homologous EPIC loci in eight non-bilaterian, protostome and deuterostome phyla

Exon Primed Intron Crossing (EPIC) markers providemolecular tools that are susceptible to be variable within specieswhile remaining amplifiable by PCR using potentially universal primers. In this studywe tested the possibility of obtaining PCR products from 50 EPIC markers on 23 species belonging to seven different phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Arthropoda, Nematoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Echinodermata) using 70 new primer pairs. A previous study had identified and tested those loci in a dozen species, including another phylum, Urochordata (Chenuil et al., 2010). Results were contrasted among species. The best results were achieved with the oyster (Mollusca) where 28 loci provided amplicons susceptible to contain an intron according to their size. This was however not the case with the othermollusk Crepidula fornicata,which seems to have undergone a reduction in intron number or intron size. In the Porifera, 13 loci appeared susceptible to contain an intron, a surprisingly high number for this phylum considering its phylogenetic distancewith genomic data used to design the primers. For two cnidarian species, numerous loci (24) were obtained. Ecdysozoan phyla (arthropods and nematodes) proved less successful than others as expected considering reports of their rapid rate of genome evolution and the worst results were obtained for several arthropods. Some general patterns among phyla arose, and we discuss how the results of this EPIC survey may give new insights into genome evolution of the study species. Thiswork confirms that this set of EPIC loci provides an easy-to-use toolbox to identify genetic markers potentially useful for population genetics, phylogeography or phylogenetic studies for a large panel of metazoan species. We then argue that obtaining diploid sequence genotypes for these loci became simple and affordable owing to Next-Generation Sequencing development. Species surveyed in this study belong to several genera (Acanthaster, Alvinocaris, Aplysina, Aurelia, Crepidula, Eunicella, Hediste, Hemimysis, Litoditis, Lophelia, Mesopodopsis, Mya, Ophiocten, Ophioderma, Ostrea, Pelagia, Platynereis, Rhizostoma, Rimicaris), two of them, belonging to the family Vesicomydae and Eunicidae, could not be determined at the genus level.


Universal primers, Alternative barcoding, Non-model species, Genetic marker, Intron

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Gerard K., Guilloton E., Arnaud-Haond Sophie, Aurelle D., Bastrop R., Chevaldonne P., Derycke S., Hanel R., Lapegue Sylvie, Lejeusne C., Mousset Sylvain, Ramsak A., Remerie T., Viard Frederique, Feral Jean-Pierre, Chenuil A. (2013). PCR survey of 50 introns in animals: Cross-amplification of homologous EPIC loci in eight non-bilaterian, protostome and deuterostome phyla. Marine Genomics. 12. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2013.10.001, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00166/27775/

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