Two species of the brine shrimp, namely Artemia franciscana Kellogg and A. persimilis Piccinelli and Prosdocimi, inhabit Chile. Most studies so far have shown that A. franciscana is the most widely distributed species in Chile, with A. persimilis present only in Chilean Patagonia. In general, there is good agreement between morphological and genetic comparisons of Chilean populations with respect to species discrimination. However, a number of results indicate an overlap with some populations tending to diverge from A. franciscana and/or resembling A. persimilis. Prior to the mid 90's the use of DNA markers in Artemia was rather limited, despite their successful application in numerous other species. In this study, we investigate whether the conclusions drawn from traditional comparative tools are congruent with the pattern of genetic divergence depicted by DNA analysis at the mitochondrial level.
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