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Completely disjunct mitochondrial DNA haplotype distribution without a phylogeographic break in a planktonic developing gastropod
Van den Broeck, H.; Breugelmans, K.; De Wolf, H.; Backeljau, T. (2008). Completely disjunct mitochondrial DNA haplotype distribution without a phylogeographic break in a planktonic developing gastropod. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 153(3): 421-429.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Van den Broeck, H., meer
  • Breugelmans, K., meer
  • De Wolf, H., meer
  • Backeljau, T., meer

    Planktonic developing organisms are generally assumed to be good dispersers showing little genetic structuring in neutral markers. At first glance, this also applies to the planktonic developing periwinkle Tectarius striatus, an endemic gastropod from Macaronesia (i.e. Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde Islands), where the only sign of genetic structuring hitherto is provided by a non-significant allozyme/RAPD heterogeneity between the Cape Verde Islands and the other archipelagos. However, partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase I genes now show that the Cape Verde Islands and the three other archipelagos have no haplotypes in common, whereas the latter three do share several haplotypes. Nevertheless, this highly disjunct haplotype distribution does not entail a phylogeographic break separating the haplotypes of both areas in two reciprocally monophyletic groups. This remarkable geographic and phylogenetic structuring may be explained by assuming that T. striatus colonized the Macaronesian archipelagos in periods when sea levels were lower (and/or volcanic activity was higher), so that seamounts peaked above sea level and could act as stepping-stones. Yet, after the last glacial period seamounts submerged, thus preventing further stepping-stones mediated dispersal of T. striatus between the Cape Verde Islands and the other archipelagos, while not affecting dispersal among the latter because of their closer proximity and connectivity. Hence, these contrasting patterns of neutral genetic variation in T. striatus show that genetic structuring in planktonic developing species may be far more complex than is usually assumed.

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