Phylogenetic analysis of a new enchytraeid species

Dr Rüdiger M. Schmelz

Freelance biologist

"Collaboration with AllGenetics has been very efficient and pleasurable. Lab and bioinformatics work was impeccable and up-to-date. The staff of young geneticists took their time to explain procedures, answer stupid questions, and knew how to interpret results and to put them in context, which made it easy to write my paper"


A group of enchytraeid taxonomists wanted to study the species status of benthic specimens sampled in the hyperalkaline Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia.


To complement the morphological studies carried out by the taxonomists, at AllGenetics we analysed a number of specimens of the Lake Van population together with specimens from Enchytraeus albidus laboratory cultures. The mitochondrial region COI and the nuclear region H3 were sequenced for all the specimens. The sequences obtained were aligned to sequences from other enchytraeid species available in GenBank and, based on these alignments, Bayesian phylogenies were reconstructed.


Specimens of the Lake Van population clustered into highly-supported clades in all COI, H3, and concatenated phylogenies. Taking into account the genetic and morphological results, the authors concluded that the Lake Van specimens belonged to a new species, which was formally described and named as Enchytraeus polatdemiri sp. nov. This research has been published in the journal Zootaxa.