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Chloroplast sequences reveal a diversity gradient in the Mediterranean Ruppia cirrhosa species complex
Triest, L.; Sierens, T. (2010). Chloroplast sequences reveal a diversity gradient in the Mediterranean Ruppia cirrhosa species complex. Aquat. Bot. 93(2): 68-74.
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280186 [ OMA ]

    Ruppia Linnaeus, 1753 [WoRMS]; Ruppia cirrhosa (Petagna) Grande, 1918 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    cpDNA marker; Ruppia; Seagrass; Genetic diversity; Isolation-by-distance

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    Two subcosmopolitan species Ruppia maritima and Ruppia cirrhosa are recognized throughout Europe, whereas Ruppia drepanensis is endemic to SW Europe. We aimed at characterizing the geographic structure of the chloroplast DNA haplotype diversity of 56 Ruppia populations across the European part of the Mediterranean. On the basis of five cpDNA markers (total length of 2300 bp) 16 haplotypes were obtained for 1546 individuals. Three populations of R. maritima showed a single haplotype and differed in five insertions/deletions and 16 substitutions from a highly variable R. cirrhosa species complex, which included R. drepanensis. The haplotype diversity of this species complex was much higher in the western Mediterranean basin than in the eastern basin. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed significant differentiation of R. cirrhosa between the two basins and also within the western Mediterranean thereby suggesting the latter as an important centre of Ruppia diversity. An isolation-by-distance (IBD) pattern was stronger between the West-East basin populations than within basins. A PCO analysis of the western basin populations indicated a diversity gradient with those of Sardinia as polymorph intermediates. The low diversity within the eastern basin suggests that the observed gradient could be hypothesized as a historical dispersal of only a limited number of haplotypes from west to east.

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