|The genus of Hottentotta sp. scorpion is one of the few medically important scorpions in Iran. This study assessed the genetic relationship analysis of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COXI) and 12sRNA genes and morphometric parameters among the population of Hottentotta sp in Khuzestan. Morphological analysis using the ANOVA T-test with a significance level of P-value less than 0.05 showed differences between the Hottetotta saulcyi and Hottetotta zagrosensis. However, this method was not able to distinguish between members of the same species. The amplification of gene fragments was done on 12srRNA (374 bp), and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COXI) (624 bp) from Hottentotta sp. collected from Khuzestan by PCR. Based on sequence 12srRNA, all H. saulcyi specimens (HS4, HS6 and HS7) except HS5 were included in cluster B. While two specimens of H. Zagrosensis (HZ6 and HZ1) with 99% bootstrap value were placed in cluster A. By using 12srRNA sequences, the highest genetic distance between the Khuzestan specimens was related to HS5 and HS7, which was calculated to be 16.7%. However, the amount of amino acid difference between HS5 and HS7 using the COXI sequence was 9.2%. The genetic distances of HS7 and HS5 with the only scorpion reference sequence, H. saulcyi, were 11.8% and 9.2%, respectively. Morphological data showed the separation of the two species, consistent with molecular phylogenetic trees. On the other hand, the genetic distance of specimens HS7 and HS5 with other members of the group as well as the scorpion reference sequence using the COXI gene, confirmed the possibility of an intraspecies difference that could not be proved by the morphological data alone.|
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