Population Genomics of Marine Zooplankton

  • Ann BucklinEmail author
  • Kate R. DiVito
  • Irina Smolina
  • Marvin Choquet
  • Jennifer M. Questel
  • Galice Hoarau
  • Rachel J. O’Neill
Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)


The exceptionally large population size and cosmopolitan biogeographic distribution that distinguish many – but not all – marine zooplankton species generate similarly exceptional patterns of population genetic and genomic diversity and structure. The phylogenetic diversity of zooplankton has slowed the application of population genomic approaches, due to lack of genomic resources for closely related species and diversity of genomic architecture, including highly replicated genomes of many crustaceans. Use of numerous genomic markers, especially single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), is transforming our ability to analyze population genetics and connectivity of marine zooplankton, and providing new understanding and different answers than earlier analyses, which typically used mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite markers. Population genomic approaches have confirmed that, despite high dispersal potential, many zooplankton species exhibit genetic structuring among geographic populations, especially at large ocean-basin scales, and have revealed patterns and pathways of population connectivity that do not always track ocean circulation. Genomic and transcriptomic resources are critically needed to allow further examination of micro-evolution and local adaptation, including identification of genes that show evidence of selection. These new tools will also enable further examination of the significance of small-scale genetic heterogeneity of marine zooplankton, to discriminate genetic “noise” in large and patchy populations from local adaptation to environmental conditions and change.


Evolution Population genetics Population genomics Transcriptomics Zooplankton 



This overview results from collaborative efforts with many colleagues and collaborators. We acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of Leocadio Blanco-Bercial (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), Peter H. Wiebe (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA), Paola G. Batta-Lona (CICESE, Mexico), and Nathaniel K. Jue (California State University, USA). Photographic images of living zooplankton species were provided by: L. P. Madin (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), C. Thompson (University of Maine, USA), Julie Ambler (Millersville University, USA), Uwe Kils (Rutgers University, USA), Dave Wrobel ( and, Russell R. Hopcroft (University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA), and Peter Parks (Image Quest 3-D). Support was provided by the US National Science Foundation to AB and RJO (PLR-1044982 and PLR-1643825) and to RJO (MCB-1613856); support to IS and MC was provided by Nord University (Norway). This review is dedicated to David A. Egloff, whose teaching at Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) inspired - and defined the life trajectory - of so many students, including the lead author (AB).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Bucklin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kate R. DiVito
    • 2
  • Irina Smolina
    • 3
  • Marvin Choquet
    • 3
  • Jennifer M. Questel
    • 1
  • Galice Hoarau
    • 3
  • Rachel J. O’Neill
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutGrotonUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Systems Genomics and Department of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.Marine Ecology Research Group, Faculty of Biosciences and AquacultureNord UniversityBodøNorway

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