Initiating a DNA Barcoding Reference Library of Stony Corals from the Gulf of Eilat (Red Sea)

Elad Nehoray Rachmilovitz, Omri Shabbat, Maayan Yerushalmy, Baruch Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate identification of scleractinian coral species is fundamental for proper biodiversity estimates, for aiding in efforts of reef monitoring, conservation, restoration, and for the management of coral reefs. Here, we provide the first DNA barcoding reference library for coral species in Eilat, Red Sea, based on the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), targeting the identification of stony coral species from shallow (0–12 m) reefs. A total of 191 specimens were collected, depicting 14 families, 39 genera, and 94 species (all are new full species records to the BOLD system). Three species (Sclerophyllia margariticola, Cyphastrea magna, and Psammocora profundacella) are first records for Eilat’s coral reef. The results presented here strengthen the claim that COI is not universally informative for delimitation of stony coral species, a notion reinforced by the constructed maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree. This library is the first step in a long journey towards elucidating coral biodiversity in the coral reef at Eilat and for improving future management and monitoring efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1917
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • COI
  • Indian Ocean
  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • molecular marker
  • reef management
  • scleractinian corals
  • taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Initiating a DNA Barcoding Reference Library of Stony Corals from the Gulf of Eilat (Red Sea)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this