Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 1, pp 103–110 | Cite as

Phylogeographic study of the dwarf oyster, Ostreola stentina, from Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia: evidence of a geographic disjunction with the closely related taxa, Ostrea aupouria and Ostreola equestris

  • Sylvie LapègueEmail author
  • Inès Ben Salah
  • Frederico M. Batista
  • Serge Heurtebise
  • Lassad Neifar
  • Pierre Boudry
Research Article


Despite the economic importance of oysters due to the high aquaculture production of several species, the current knowledge of oyster phylogeny and systematics is still fragmentary. In Europe, Ostrea edulis, the European flat oyster, and Ostreola stentina, the Provence oyster or dwarf oyster, are both present along the European and African, Atlantic and Mediterranean, coasts. In order to document the relationship not only between O. stentina and O. edulis, but also with the other Ostrea and Ostreola species, we performed a sequence analysis of the 16S mitochondrial fragment (16S rDNA: the large subunit rRNA-coding gene) and the COI fragment (COI: cytochrome oxidase subunit I). Oysters were sampled from populations in Portugal (two populations), Tunisia (two populations) and Morocco (one population), identified as O. stentina on the basis of shell morphological characters. Our data supported a high degree of differentiation between O. stentina and O. edulis and a close relationship between O. stentina and both Ostrea aupouria (from New Zealand) and Ostreola equestris (from Mexico Gulf/Atlantic). The status of this geographic disjunction between these closely related species is discussed. Furthermore, although identified in a separate genus Ostreola by Harry (Veliger 28:121–158, 1985), our molecular data on O. stentina, together with those available for the other two putative congeneric species, O. equestris and Ostreola conchaphila, would favour incorporation of Ostreola in Ostrea. Finally, a PCR-RFLP approach allowed the rapid identification of O. edulis and O. stentina.


Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit Southwestern Coast Allozymic Marker Biometric Analysis Adductor Muscle Scar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank F. Ruano for helping us to obtain samples of O. stentina from Sado estuary and A. Bernoussi from INRH of Casablanca for providing us the oyster samples from Morocco. This work was made possible by a close collaboration between the University of Sfax and IFREMER and a FCT grant (SFRH/BD/8972/2002) and by a Marie Curie Training fellowship (PLUDAMOR, QLK5-CT-2000-60036) to F.M. Batista. This work was partly supported by the Région Poitou-Charentes (Convention No. 2001-RPC-A-212 ). The experimental procedure complied with the current national laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvie Lapègue
    • 1
    Email author
  • Inès Ben Salah
    • 2
  • Frederico M. Batista
    • 3
    • 4
  • Serge Heurtebise
    • 1
  • Lassad Neifar
    • 2
  • Pierre Boudry
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génétique et Pathologie, IFREMERLa TrembladeFrance
  2. 2.Faculté des Sciences de SfaxLaboratoire d’écobiologie AnimaleSfaxTunisia
  3. 3.Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e das Pescas (INIAP/IPIMAR), CRIPSulOlhaoPortugal
  4. 4.Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS)Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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