Disentangling earthworm taxonomic stumbling blocks using molecular markers

Main Article Content

Azhar Rashid Lone
Samrendra Singh Thakur
Nalini Tiwari
Olusola B. Sokefun
Shweta Yadav


Taxonomic classification of earthworms based on anatomical features has created several challenges for systematics and population genetics. This study examines the application of molecular markers, in particular mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI), to facilitate discrimination of closely related earthworm species. Molecular markers have also provided insights into population genetics by aiding assessment of genetic diversity, lineage sorting, and genealogical distributions of populations for several species. Phylogeography—a study that evaluates the geographical distribution of these genealogical lineages and the role of historical processes in shaping their distribution—has also provided insights into ecology and biodiversity. Such studies are also essential to understand the distribution patterns of invasive earthworm species that have been introduced in non-native ecosystems globally. The negative consequences of these invasions on native species include competition for food resources and altered ecosystems. We anticipate that molecular markers such as COI and DNA barcoding offer potential solutions to disentangling taxonomic impediments in earthworms and advancing their systematics and population genetics. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Lone, A.R., Thakur, S.S., Tiwari, N. , Olusola B. Sokefun and Yadav, S. 2021. Disentangling earthworm taxonomic stumbling blocks using molecular markers. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 11 (Sep. 2021), 19566–19579. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6888.13.11.19566-19579 .


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