Sympatry of distinct mitochondrial DNA lineages in a copepod inhabiting estuarine creeks in the southeastern USA
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The population genetic structure of the meiobenthic harpacticoid copepod Microarthridion littorale (Poppe) was examined with a geographic survey of a 348 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Copepods were collected from ten locations on the coast from North Carolina to Georgia, USA, from January 1997 to November 1998. Sequence divergence among 198 individuals was as much as 4.3%, and three divergent mitochondrial clades were uncovered that differed by six to nine nucleotide changes. A rapid assay was developed to distinguish among mitochondrial clades, and an additional 333 specimens were surveyed. The three lineages co-occurred in seven of ten sampling locations. Data analyses were carried out separately for individuals assayed by DNA sequencing as well as for a combined data set that included individuals typed by restriction endonuclease digestion. An analysis of molecular variance indicated that a significant proportion of the total genetic variance could be partitioned among populations, although no significant correlation between geographical and genetic distance was detected.
KeywordsGenetic Structure Molecular Variance Population Genetic Structure Mitochondrial Cytochrome Restriction Endonuclease Digestion
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