Presentation Title

The invasion of the red slugs: Vayssierea felis (Collingwood 1881) in the Northeastern Pacific

Faculty Mentor

Ángel A. Valdes

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

Location

9-255

Session

Bio Sciences 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

The invasion of the red slugs: Vayssierea felis (Collingwood 1881) in the Northeastern Pacific

Student author: Karina Moreno, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Mentor: Dr. Ángel A. Valdes, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Program Sponsor: RISE

Abstract:

Vayssierea felis (Collingwood 1881) is a species of sea slug in the family Okadiaidae, native to the Indo-West Pacific. It is characterized by having a very small body (up to 5 mm long), bright red in color, with no external gill. A few years ago, specimens of this species were found in San Diego and Redondo Beach, California, and are becoming more frequently observed along the Northeast Pacific. The increasing number of these nudibranchs in California indicates that it could potentially be an invasive species. In order to determine the origin of the Northeast Pacific populations, we obtained specimens collected from Japan, Hawaii and California. We hypothesize that the specimens of Vayssierea felis found along California will have a similar genetic make-up to those from Japan and Hawaii. DNA was extracted from tissue samples of the specimens. The extracted DNA was sequenced for the two mitochondrial genes (CO1, 16S) and a nuclear gene (H3). Phylogenetic analyses were conducted on these genes to determine the relationship among the specimens. We found that the specimens from California are genetically distinct from those found in Hawaii and Japan, suggesting that this group could be a species complex.

Key words: systematics, phylogeny, Okadiaidae, CO1, 16S, H3, species complex, non-native

Summary of research results to be presented

DNA sequencing for the 16S, CO1 and H3 genes of the specimens collected from Japan, Hawaii, and California showed differences in the genes of these populations. This suggests that Vayssierea felis could potentially be a species complex and may have resided in California for a longer period of time than previously thought.

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Nov 18th, 2:00 PM Nov 18th, 2:15 PM

The invasion of the red slugs: Vayssierea felis (Collingwood 1881) in the Northeastern Pacific

9-255

The invasion of the red slugs: Vayssierea felis (Collingwood 1881) in the Northeastern Pacific

Student author: Karina Moreno, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Mentor: Dr. Ángel A. Valdes, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Program Sponsor: RISE

Abstract:

Vayssierea felis (Collingwood 1881) is a species of sea slug in the family Okadiaidae, native to the Indo-West Pacific. It is characterized by having a very small body (up to 5 mm long), bright red in color, with no external gill. A few years ago, specimens of this species were found in San Diego and Redondo Beach, California, and are becoming more frequently observed along the Northeast Pacific. The increasing number of these nudibranchs in California indicates that it could potentially be an invasive species. In order to determine the origin of the Northeast Pacific populations, we obtained specimens collected from Japan, Hawaii and California. We hypothesize that the specimens of Vayssierea felis found along California will have a similar genetic make-up to those from Japan and Hawaii. DNA was extracted from tissue samples of the specimens. The extracted DNA was sequenced for the two mitochondrial genes (CO1, 16S) and a nuclear gene (H3). Phylogenetic analyses were conducted on these genes to determine the relationship among the specimens. We found that the specimens from California are genetically distinct from those found in Hawaii and Japan, suggesting that this group could be a species complex.

Key words: systematics, phylogeny, Okadiaidae, CO1, 16S, H3, species complex, non-native