The study of genetic diversity of flat leeches

  • Bolbat N.B. 1, 2
  • Kaygorodova I.A. 1
  • 1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya Str., 3, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
    2 Irkutsk State University, Sukhe-Bator Str., 5, Irkutsk, 664011, Russia
Keywords: Glossiphoniidae, DNA barcoding, genetic diversity


The conservation of species is one of the most important tasks of biology, which involves a comprehensive study and determination of the taxonomic hierarchy of various representatives of the fauna. Species composition of flat leeches requires thorough revision, as evidenced by ambiguous morphological descriptions due to anatomic features of glossiphoniids, which complicates the taxonomic identification of leeches of this group. The combination of methods of morphological identification and molecular genetic analysis allowed us to prove the belonging of A.hyalina as a third form of the species A.heteroclita along with A.heteroclita f.papillosa and A.heteroclita f.striata. Intraspecies genetic variability was 0.2%, which confirmed the genetic homogenity of the leeches of this species. The results obtained during the study demonstrate the effectiveness of the genetic diversity analysis within the comprehensive approach to the study of the species composition of flat leeches.