Polar Biology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 177–182 | Cite as

Paternity analysis in the Antarctic brooding sea urchin Abatus nimrodi. A pilot study

  • Anne ChenuilEmail author
  • Agnès Gault
  • Jean-Pierre Féral
Original Paper


The genus Abatus (Echinoidea: Spatangoida: Schizasteridae), endemic to the Southern Ocean, consists of several species which, like many other Antarctic marine invertebrates, brood their offspring. The modality of fertilization is not known in these species, whose direct observation and sampling are difficult. Parentage analyses by means of molecular markers may help to gain information on this stage of the life-cycle. In this pilot study, we analysed a brooding female and her offspring with dominant molecular markers—RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA). We established that each cohort present in the brooding pouches, i.e. gastrulae and juveniles, originated from at least two distinct father genotypes. Our original method of analysis of dominant marker data should have vast applications since it allows one to test, not only (1) the hypothesis that the progeny of a given mother originates from a single father, but also (2) the temporal stability of the paternal gene pool.


Brooding Female Single Father Putative Father Paternal Genotype Echinocardium Cordatum 
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.



We warmly thank Sigurd von Boletzky for his critical correction of the English manuscript and Nicolas Bierne for his interesting suggestions.This work was supported by grants from the French Polar Institute (IPEV): programmes 195 and 345.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Chenuil
    • 1
    Email author
  • Agnès Gault
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Féral
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR7628 CNRSObservatoire Océanologique de BanyulsBanyuls-sur-merFrance

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