Multigene phylogeny reveals a new Iranian earthworm genus (Lumbricidae: Philomontanus) with three new species
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/3702
EDITED VERSION: https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208904
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2401 Biología Animal (Zoología) ; 2402 Antropología (Física)
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Lumbricidae taxonomy is vastly restricted by the morphological simplicity of earthworms and their lack of complex appendices. This has led to confusing results in the Lumbricidae classifications, which in turn, has hindered our ability to identify and assign new and cryptic species to the family. Here we propose the addition of a new Lumbricidae genus from the Zagros and Elburz Mountains of Iran, i.e. Philomontanus gen. nov, including three new species. Our taxonomic inferences were based on the phylogenetic analysis of two nuclear gene regions (28S rDNA and 18S rDNA) and 11 mitochondrial gene regions (16S rDNA, 12S rDNA, NADH dehydrogenase I, cytochrome oxidase subunits I and II and tRNAs Asn, Asp, Val, Leu, Ala and Ser). Philomontanus gen. nov comprises the earthworm species Philomontanus sarii sp. nov., Philomontanus mahmoudi sp. nov. and Philomontanus baloutchi sp. nov. These three species are morphologically similar to each other with only a few characters separating them (e.g. size, pigmentation and position of clitellum). Our findings support the adoption of an integrative approach including molecular information (e.g., DNA sequences) to aid earthworm classification and develop a robust taxonomy.
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