Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 627–629 | Cite as

A population genetics toolbox for the threatened canopy-forming brown seaweeds Cystoseira tamariscifolia and C. amentacea (Fucales, Sargassaceae)

  • Aschwin H. EngelenEmail author
  • Joana Costa
  • Ricardo Bermejo
  • Núria Marba
  • Carlos M. Duarte
  • Ester A. Serrão


The brown macroalga Cystoseira tamariscifolia is a foundation species along the northeastern Atlantic and western Mediterranean Sea. It occurs from lower intertidal rock pools to the shallow subtidal. Anthropogenic pollution and rising seawater temperatures can threaten its local distributions. In order to address impacts of historical and current environmental changes, to quantify effective dispersal and population connectivity, and to provide genetic tools for restoration and coastal management strategies, we have developed ten microsatellite markers, validated on 48 individuals from a single population. With 2–11 alleles per locus, the observed heterozygosity varied between 0.244 and 0.875. All of the developed microsatellites cross-amplified also on Cystoseira amentacea. The ten microsatellite loci developed here show high genetic diversity, making them useful for connectivity and population genetic studies aimed at small to large spatial scales, and provide essential insight for the development of conservation strategies for this important but threatened foundation species.


Microsatellites Genetic diversity Phaeophyceae Cystoseira 



This study received financial support from research projects EXTANT-EXCL/AAG-GLO/0661/2012 of the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) and postdoctoral grant SFRH/PBD/107878/2015 to AHE. We thank Marta Valente for genotyping and Frédéric Mineur for sample collection in Marseille.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aschwin H. Engelen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joana Costa
    • 1
  • Ricardo Bermejo
    • 2
  • Núria Marba
    • 3
  • Carlos M. Duarte
    • 4
  • Ester A. Serrão
    • 1
  1. 1.CCMAR, University of Algarve, Campus de GambelasFaroPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología, Área de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y AmbientalesUniversidad de Cádiz, Campus de Excelencia Internacional del Mar (CEIMAR)CádizSpain
  3. 3.Department of Global Change Research, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB)Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis AvançatsEsporlesSpain
  4. 4.King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)ThuwalSaudi Arabia

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