Marine Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 6, pp 1237–1248 | Cite as

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

  • K. M. Gruenthal
  • L. K. Acheson
  • R. S. Burton
Research Article


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.


Amplify Fragment Length Polymorphism AFLP Marker Assignment Test Southern California Bight Crescent City 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This publication was supported in part by the National Sea Grant College Program of the US Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under NOAA Grant #NA06RG0142, project #R/F-189, through the California Sea Grant College Program; and in part by the California State Resources Agency. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of any of those organizations. This material is based upon work also supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0333444. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Additional funding was obtained from the Moore Foundation and the Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Redmond, WA. We would like to thank Peter Haaker and Ian Taniguchi at the California Department of Fish and Game and Dr. Laura Rogers-Bennett at the University of California, Davis, for collecting the red abalone samples. Dr. David L. Leighton provided valuable information regarding abalone morphology and life history. The experiments herein comply with the current laws of the country in which the experiments were performed.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Gruenthal
    • 1
  • L. K. Acheson
    • 2
  • R. S. Burton
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture and Urban PlanningUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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