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    Metabarcoding analysis of the stomach contents of the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) collected in the Antarctic Ocean

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    Document Number:
    T.-H. Yoon, H.-E. Kang, S. R. Lee, J.-B. Lee, G. W. Baeck, H. Park and H.-W. Kim
    Submitted By:
    Dr Seok-Gwan Choi (Korea, Republic of)
    Approved By:
    Dr Seok-Gwan Choi (Korea, Republic of)
    PeerJ (in press)

    Stomach contents of the Antarctic toothfish, Dissostichus mawsoni, collected from Subareas 58.4 and 88.3 were analyzed using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology. After processing the raw reads generated by the MiSeq platform, a total of 131,233 contigs (130 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]) were obtained from 163 individuals in subarea 58.4, and 75,961 contigs (105 OTUs) from 164 fish in subarea 88.3. At 98 % sequence identity, species names were assigned to most OTUs in this study, indicating the quality of the DNA barcode database for the Antarctic Ocean was sufficient for molecular analysis, especially for fish species. A total of 19 species was identified from the stomach of D. mawsoni in this study, which included 14 fish species and 5 mollusks. More than 90 % of contigs belonged to fish species, supporting the postulate that the major prey of D. mawsoni are fish. Two fish species, Macrourus whitsoni and Chionobathyscus dewitti, were the most important prey items (a finding similar to that of previous studies). We also obtained genotypes of prey items by NGS analysis, identifying an additional 17 representative haplotypes in this study. Comparison with three previous morphological studies and the NGS-based molecular identification in this study extended our knowledge regarding the prey of D. mawsoni, which previously was not possible. These results suggested that NGS-based diet studies are possible, if several current technical limitations, including the quality of the barcode database or the development of precise molecular quantification techniques to link them with morphological values, are overcome. To achieve this, additional studies should be conducted on various marine organisms.