Molecular Investigation of the Distribution of Typhlatya spp. in Cave Systems Within the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
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Stygobitic species such as the anchialine cave shrimp Typhlatya have adapted to life in freshwater and marine cave systems around the world. Limited research has been conducted on the ecological, morphological and genetic diversity of the four known species of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico: T. dzilamensis, T. pearsei, T. mitchelli and T. campecheae. A total of eighteen specimens were obtained from Dr. Thomas Iliffe’s collection housed in the Marine Biospeleology Lab at Texas A&M University at Galveston, representing seven cave systems (Temple of Doom, Systema Paamul, Carwash, Crustacea, Nayah, Sabak Ha, and Kankirixche). Specimens were photo-documented and identified to species level following diagnostic characters published in the taxonomic literature. Both the 16S rRNA and the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene were sequenced. After analyzing the sequences, phylogenetic trees and genetic distance tables were generated to discern the phylogenetic relationship among the specimens and compared to our initial morphological diagnosis. The phylogenetic analyses of 16S showed five distinct clades: T. dzilamensis, T. mitchelli A and B, T. pearsei, and Typhlatya sp. Data acquired from this study will be part of a larger study that will provide more insight into the biogeography and connectivity of cave systems within the Yucatán Peninsula.
Rohret, Shari Marijani; Salinas, Alexa Atziri (2018). Molecular Investigation of the Distribution of Typhlatya spp. in Cave Systems Within the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from