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Open Access Implications of mating system for genetic diversity of sister algal species: Fucus spiralis and Fucus vesiculosus (Heterokontophyta, Phaeophyceae)

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The implications of mating system for genetic diversity were assessed in the sister species Fucus spiralis and Fucus vesiculosus using a combination of ten microsatellite markers. Five new microsatellite markers specific for F. spiralis were developed in order to increase marker resolution and complement the results (i.e. mating system and genetic diversity extended to a larger geographic scale) acquired using five microsatellite loci previously developed from a mixed fucoid seaweed DNA library that excluded F. spiralis. Low genetic diversities observed at the population and species level in F. spiralis using the five new F. spiralis-specific loci described here were consistent with the results obtained previously with non-specific microsatellite loci. Results revealed that selfing is characteristic in F. spiralis across its latitudinal distribution along the Iberian and French Atlantic coasts. Higher levels of within-population genetic diversity were observed in the outcrossing species F. vesiculosus, decreasing towards the southern distributional range of the species. Some cases of significant biparental inbreeding in this species are indicative of short gamete dispersal or mating of spatially or temporally structured populations. In contrast to within-population diversities, higher total genetic diversity among populations was observed in the hermaphroditic species in comparison to the dioecious F. vesiculosus.

Keywords: dioecious; genetic diversity; hermaphrodite; marine reproductive ecology; mating system; microsatellites; self-fertilization

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: CCMAR-CIMAR-Laboratório Associado, Portugal

Publication date: August 1, 2007


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