Article

Marine Biology

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 93-100

First online:

Allozyme variation in populations of the dog-whelkNucella lapillus (Prosobranchia: Muricacea) from the South West peninsula of England

  • A. J. DayAffiliated withPlymouth Marine Laboratory
  • , B. L. BayneAffiliated withPlymouth Marine Laboratory

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Abstract

Four populations of the predatory gastropodNucella lapillus were sampled at sites around the South West Peninsula of England in 1986, and analysed for allozyme variation at 18 enzyme loci. Two of these loci, αGpd-1 andHk-1, exhibited sex-specific phenotypes. An absolute locus association was observed between two other loci,Mdh-1 andEst-3. This association was only found at one site (Prawle), and it is suggested that the presence of chromosomal polymorphisms could explain this finding. As a measure of overall similarity, Nei's genetic identity statistic,I, was calculated; the mean for all populations was 0.989, with values ranging from 0.981 to 0.997. Although similar on this gross level, considerable interpopulation variation was evident. Observed mean heterozygosity (per locus) ranged from 0.043 to 0.104 (mean 0.074). Populations differed also in the loci at which significant heterozygote deficits were seen (of the seven deficits recorded only those at thePep-1 locus were consistent across sites) and in the presence of rare alleles undetected elsewhere. The variation observed showed no correlation to shell morphology or geographical distance and confirmed the conclusion that species of the genusNucella show considerable disjunct variation.