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A three-way contact zone between forms of Patella rustica (Mollusca: Patellidae) in the central Mediterranean Sea
Sá-Pinto, A.; Baird, S.J.E.; Pinho, C.; Alexandrino, P.; Branco, M. (2010). A three-way contact zone between forms of Patella rustica (Mollusca: Patellidae) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 100(1): 154-169
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    DNA; Hybridization; Mollusca [WoRMS]; Patella rustica Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Patellidae Rafinesque, 1815 [WoRMS]; MED, Central Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Sá-Pinto, A.
  • Baird, S.J.E.
  • Pinho, C.
  • Alexandrino, P.
  • Branco, M.

    Previous studies have reported the occurrence of three differentiated mtDNA lineages within Patella rustica in the Mediterranean Sea. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain these observations: (1) the maintenance of ancestral polymorphism within a single species; (2) the occurrence of cryptic species not identified previously. To distinguish between these hypotheses, we screened the genetic variability at nine allozyme loci, an intron from the α-amylase gene and a mitochondrial gene for 187 individuals of P. rustica sampled from seven Mediterranean localities. Eight additional localities were screened for the last two markers to place the differentiated lineages in a clear geographic context. Our results demonstrate that the three mtDNA lineages correspond to three distinct nuclear genotype clusters and provide further details on their distribution: the cluster corresponding to the mtDNA lineage from the Atlantic and western Mediterranean extends as far as the south coast of Italy, whereas the remaining two clusters occur in sympatry in the eastern Mediterranean. One of the eastern Mediterranean clusters is highly differentiated and seems to be reproductively isolated from the codistributed form; we therefore suggest that it corresponds to a new species. The remaining two clusters are less differentiated and form a contact zone across south Italian shores. This three-way contact zone constitutes an interesting model for the study of speciation in the marine realm.

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