Cephalopods are pivotal components of marine food webs, but biodiversity studies are hampered by challenges to sample these agile marine molluscs. Metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA) is a potentially powerful technique to study oceanic cephalopod biodiversity and distribution but has not been applied thus far. We present a novel universal primer pair for metabarcoding cephalopods from eDNA, Ceph18S (Forward: 5′-CGC GGC GCT ACA TAT TAG AC-3′, Reverse: 5′-GCA CTT AAC CGA CCG TCG AC-3′). The primer pair targets the hypervariable region V2 of the nuclear 18S rRNA gene and amplifies a relatively short target sequence of approximately 200 bp in order to allow the amplification of degraded DNA. In silico tests on a reference database and empirical tests on DNA extracts from cephalopod tissue estimate that 44-66% of cephalopod species, corresponding to about 310-460 species, can be amplified and identified with this primer pair. A multi-marker approach with the novel Ceph18S and two previously published cephalopod mitochondrial 16S rRNA primer sets targeting the same region (Jarman et al. 2006 Mol. Ecol. Notes. 6, 268-271; Peters et al. 2015 Mar. Ecol. 36, 1428-1439) is estimated to amplify and identify 89% of all cephalopod species, of which an estimated 19% can only be identified by Ceph18S. All sequences obtained with Ceph18S were submitted to GenBank, resulting in new 18S rRNA sequences for 13 cephalopod taxa.
- environmental DNA
- universal primer