Article

Marine Biology

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 443-450

First online:

Allozyme and mitochondrial DNA evidence of population subdivision in the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

  • S. EdmandsAffiliated withMurine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. San Diego
  • , P. E. MobergAffiliated withMurine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. San Diego
  • , R. S. BurtonAffiliated withMurine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. San Diego

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Abstract

Despite high potential for dispersal, the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus was found to have significant genetic subdivision among locations. Ten geographic locations along the coast of California and Baja California were sampled between 1994 and 1995. Samples from some locations included both adult and recruit urchins. Allozyme analyses revealed a genetic mosaic, where differentiation over short geographic distances could exceed differentiation over much larger distances. Significant allozyme differentiation was found among subpopulations of adults (standardized variance, F ST =0.033), among subpopulations of recruits (F ST =0.037), and between adults and recruits from the same location. DNA-sequence data for the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene also showed significant heterogeneity among locations, with a mild break in haplotype frequencies observed ≃ 300 km south of Point Conception. California. Repeated sampling over time is necessary to determine whether these patterns of differentiation are stable and to begin to understand what forces produce them.