Srinu, G.; Padmavathi, P., and Chatla, D., 2019. Identification and validation of Anabas spp. (Osteichthyes: Anabantidae) through morphology and DNA barcoding from lake Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India. In: Jithendran, K.P.; Saraswathy, R.; Balasubramanian, C.P.; Kumaraguru Vasagam, K.P.; Jayasankar, V.; Raghavan, R.; Alavandi, S.V., and Vijayan, K.K. (eds.), BRAQCON 2019: World Brackishwater Aquaculture Conference. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 86, pp. 142–148. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Anabas Cuvier, 1816 (Pisces: Osteichthyes: Anabantidae) constitutes a major proportion of fisheries with great ecological and commercial importance in lake Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India. Morphological analysis based on 54 adult specimens from different parts of the lake revealed two putative species, Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1795) and A. oligolepis (Bleeker, 1855) which are very closely related to and barely distinguished by few characteristics (e.g. body depth) exclusively in fully matured specimens. In juvenile and sub-adult specimens, considerable overlap in the range of colour patterns has been observed, inturn it may lead to taxonomic confusion. DNA barcoding is a promising technique for accurate species level identification based on partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene. A total of five DNA barcode sequences were generated using universal primers. The average Kimura 2 Parameter (K2P) distances within species and genera were 0.5% and 1.3% respectively. These barcodes discriminated the congeneric species with lower genetic distance when compared to other taxa. This may aid in deciding the threshold value to delineate the species complex of Anabas from lake Kolleru. Neighbour joining (NJ) tree formed two major clades each shared with accessions to the same species. The maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic tree was constructed using COI sequences of Anabantidae which were complemented with the sequences of six other families of order Anabantiformes and the phylogenetic position of Anabantidae was discussed. Future studies are needed for deeper insights into genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships of Anabantiformes using multiple molecular markers.

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