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Keywords:

  • DNA barcoding;
  • Gracilaria vermiculophylla;
  • Gracilariaceae;
  • invasive species

Abstract

As part of an extensive DNA-based floristic survey of marine macroalgae in Canadian waters, an unexpected sequence for a Gracilaria sp. was generated from British Columbia. Before further molecular analyses and corresponding morphological/anatomical observations this mystery sequence was temporarily entered into our database as Gracilaria BCsp. Continued sampling uncovered this species from four additional locations. A timely collaboration with international colleagues introduced sequences from the invasive Gracilaria vermiculophylla into our cytochrome c oxidase I alignments — these a perfect match to BCsp indicating that this species occurs in British Columbia. A discussion of the origin of this taxon in Canadian waters, whether natural or introduced, is provided.