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Radular myoglobin as a molecular marker in littorinid systematics (Caenogastropoda)
Brito, C.; Lourenco, P.; Medeiros, R.; Rebelo, J.F.; De Wolf, H.; Jordaens, K.; Backeljau, T. (2001). Radular myoglobin as a molecular marker in littorinid systematics (Caenogastropoda). J. Shellfish Res. 20(1): 411-414.
In: Journal of Shellfish Research. National Shellfisheries Association: Duxbury. ISSN 0730-8000, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Caenogastropoda [WoRMS]; Littorinidae Children, 1834 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Caenogastropoda; isoelectric focusing; Littorinidae; myoglobin; protein electrophoresis; systematics

Authors  Top 
  • Brito, C.
  • Lourenco, P.
  • Medeiros, R.
  • Rebelo, J.F.
  • De Wolf, H., more
  • Jordaens, K.
  • Backeljau, T., more

    Radular myoglobin (Mb) was investigated in 288 specimens of 10 littorinid species using vertical polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and isoelectric focusing (IEF). Within the genus Littorina the two most basal species, L. striata and L. keenae, have Mb patterns that correspond to those of the genera Littoraria and Nodilittorina, while the sibling species L. scutulata and L. plena have identical Mb profiles that consistently differ from those of L. littorea, L. saxatilis, L. compressa and L. areana. In contrast to previous claims, Mb does not consistently separate the sibling rough periwinkles Littorina saxatilis and L. arcana. These data suggest (1) that the Nodilittorina/Littoraria Mb profile in L. striata is not unique within the genus Littorina and therefore does not refute the assignment of L. striata to this genus, and (2) that L. scutulata and L. plena occupy a separate position compared to the other species of the subgenus Littorina. This latter result supports the suggestion that L. scutulata and L. plena may constitute a separate subgeneric taxon. Finally, the IEF Mb profiles of Nodilittorina hawaiiensis and Cenchritis muricatus were nearly identical to the Nodilittorina/Littoraria Mb pattern. Yet, PAGE of Mb in Cenchritis muricatus suggests a tentative Mendelian polymorphism. It is concluded that littorinid Mb may not be a useful marker to distinguish closely related species, but rather provides information on 'higher level' systematics.

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