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Genetic differentiation between morphotypes of the marine sponge Suberites ficus (Demospongiae: Hadromerida)
Solé-Cava, A.M.; Thorpe, J.P. (1986). Genetic differentiation between morphotypes of the marine sponge Suberites ficus (Demospongiae: Hadromerida). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 93(2): 247-253
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Genetic drift; Population genetics; Sympatric populations; Marine

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  • Solé-Cava, A.M.
  • Thorpe, J.P.

    Sponges of three morphotypes of S. ficus (Johnston, 1842) were collected during February and March 1985 off the south-west of the Isle of Man, and were compared by using spicule size distributions and genetic allele frequencies of isozyme loci. The populations did not show any significant differences of spicule size or type, but could be easily differentiated into three separate species based on isozyme patters. Samples of pale orange S. ficus growing on gastropod shells inhabited by hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.) were reproductively isolated from the red-orange and the pale yellow colour morphs encrusting the bivalve Chlamys opercularis. These latter two colour morphs were genetically similar, but significant differences were observed at two of the 19 gene loci assayed. All the sponges studied were sympatric, and therefore the genetic differences, indicating reproductive isolation, are strong evidence for separate gene pools and. hence, that they are different species.

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