From Persian Gulf to Indonesia: Interrelated phylogeographic distance and chemistry within the genus Peronia (Onchidiidae, Gastropoda, Mollusca).
The knowledge of relationships between taxa is essential to understand and explain the chemical diversity of the respective groups. Here, twelve individuals of the panpulmonate slug Peronia persiae from two localities in Persian Gulf, and one animal of P. verruculata from Bangka Island, Indonesia, were analyzed in a phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic framework. Based on the ABGD test and haplotype networking using COI gene sequences of Peronia specimens, nine well-supported clades were found. Haplotype network analysis highlighted a considerable distance between the specimens of P. persiae and other clades. Metabolomic analysis of both species using tandem mass spectrometry-based GNPS molecular networking revealed a large chemical diversity within Peronia of different clades and localities. While P. persiae from different localities showed a highly similar metabolome, only few identical chemical features were found across the clades. The main common metabolites in both Peronia species were assigned as polypropionate esters of onchitriols and ilikonapyrones, and osmoprotectant amino acid-betaine compounds. On the other hand, the isoflavonoids genistein and daidzein were exclusively detected in P. persiae, while cholesterol and conjugated chenodeoxycholic acids were only found in P. verruculata. Flavonoids, bile acids, and amino acid-betaine compounds were not reported before from Onchidiidae, some are even new for panpulmonates. Our chemical analyses indicate a close chemotaxonomic relation between phylogeographically distant Peronia species.