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Development of polymorphic microsatellite loci for three species of vent-endemic megafauna from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean


Microsatellite loci have been developed for three undescribed species discovered at hydrothermal vents on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR) in the Southern Ocean: a yeti crab, Kiwa sp. (Kiwaidae), a species of peltospiroid gastropod and a vent limpet, Lepetodrilus sp. (Lepetodrilidae). Nine, twelve and fourteen loci were developed for the three species respectively, with two loci deviating significantly from Hardy–Weinberg expectations. Observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.08 to 1 (means of 0.62, 0.44 and 0.63 for the three species respectively). These loci are being used to determine connectivity between vents at the northern and southern end of the ESR and between the ESR and the Kemp Caldera, a submerged part of the South Sandwich Island chain. These data will be crucial in understanding the ecology of the first hydrothermal vent communities discovered in the Southern Ocean.

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We’d like to thank the master and crew of the RRS James Cook and the technical crew of ROV ISIS for specimen collection during expedition JC42. Special thanks to Tom Hart, University of Oxford, for crucial input in microsatellite development. Fieldwork and analyses were funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Consortium Grant (NE/DO1249X/1) and NERC PhD studentship NE/D01429X/1(LH, LM, CNR).

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Correspondence to C. N. Roterman.

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Roterman, C.N., Copley, J.T., Linse, K.T. et al. Development of polymorphic microsatellite loci for three species of vent-endemic megafauna from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean. Conservation Genet Resour 5, 835–839 (2013).

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  • Microsatellite
  • Lepetodrilus
  • Kiwa
  • Peltospiridae
  • Peltospirid
  • Gigantopelta
  • Hydrothermal vent
  • Population genetics