, Volume 152, Issue 6, pp 1237-1248

Genetic structure of natural populations of California red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) using multiple genetic markers

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Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit one (COI) sequence, nuclear microsatellites, and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) were used to evaluate connectivity among nine red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) populations sampled between August 1998 and November 2003 along approximately 1,300 km of California coastline from Crescent City (41°46′N, 124°12′W) to San Miguel Island (34°02′N, 120°22′W). COI sequences and microsatellite genotypes did not show significant genetic divergence among nine sampled populations. A subset of five populations spanning the geographic range of the study was scored for 163 polymorphic AFLP markers. Of these, 41 loci showed significant divergence (P < 0.001) among populations. Still, no AFLP markers were diagnostic for any of the study populations, and assignment tests did not consistently assign individuals to the correct population. Although the AFLP data are the first to suggest there is significant genetic differentiation among California red abalone populations, the discordance between the different genetic markers needs further study before unambiguous conclusions can be drawn with respect to connectivity among the populations.

Communicated by J.P. Grassle.