Among the different biological sources, seaweeds have lot of biotechnological applications. Saudi Arabia is bounded by three bodies of water. With a coastal border of almost 1,800 km. This area high species richness caused by its complex geological history has encompassed genetic and morphological diversity studies for decades. The DNA-barcoding using rbcL gene has proved its usefulness in studying seaweeds phylogenetic diversity, multiple cryptic introductions, environmental modulation the geographical distribution and species identification in different seaweed species. Eight algae samples were collected from different locations in Saudi Arabia. The rbcL gene was used through PCR protocol for species identification. A total number of 8 sequences were obtained with a total sequence length of 5263 bp. where it ranged from 610 to 753 with an average length of 658 bp. The species identification revealed that the specimens samples 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 belongs to Padina pavonica, Turbinaria gracilis, Carpomitra costata, Pterocladiella capillacea, Cladostephus spongiosus, Ulva lactuca, Sporochnus comosus and Sargassum muticum respectively. The rbcL-based DNA bar-coding was almost successful to identify different seaweeds specimens according to species and genus. Some specimens rbcL was not adequate to identify genus level and failed to differentiate between highly similar species. We suggest to use more DNA barcoding techniques in addition to rbcL to ad more resolution to the species identification.
Seaweeds, Saudi Arabia, rbcL, species identification, geographical distribution.
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