Marine Biology

, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 31–35 | Cite as

Low levels of genetic variation in mtDNA sequences over the western Mediterranean and Atlantic range of the sponge Crambe crambe (Poecilosclerida)

  • S. Duran
  • M. Pascual
  • X. Turon
Research Article


Crambe crambe is a common encrusting sponge found in the Mediterranean and Atlantic littoral. An analysis of a partial sequence (535 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) was conducted in an attempt to determine population structure in this species. This is the first study of population genetics using this kind of marker in the phylum. Samples (N=86) were taken in eight populations separated by distances from 20 to 3,000 km, spanning from the western Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Low variability of this gene was found, as only two haplotypes were identified, along with low nucleotide diversity (π=0.0006). However, the different frequencies found among populations revealed genetic structure and low gene flow between close populations, as expected from the dispersal biology of the species. The low variability found in sponges is in agreement with reports on cnidarians and points to a high conservation of mtDNA in diploblastic phyla.


Sponge Ballast Water Messinian Sponge Species High Genetic Similarity 
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 are grateful to M. Zabala, C. Palacin, S. López, P. Wirtz and E. Cebrian for providing us with Crambe crambe specimens from Corsica, Cabo de Gata, Banyuls-sur-Mer, Madeira and Gran Canaria, respectively. J. Rozas made useful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by a predoctoral fellowship from the Government of Catalonia to S.D. Research was funded by projects BOS2000-0295 and REN2001-2312 of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. We declare that all the experiments done comply with current Spanish laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Biology (Invertebrates)University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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