Marine Biology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 505–511 | Cite as

Evolution of Cardium (Cerastoderma) edule, C. lamarcki and C. glaucum: studies of DNA-variation

  • V. Brock
  • G. Christiansen


Genetic relations between populations of Cardium (Cerastoderma) edule (L.) and C. lamarcki (Reeve) from Danish waters and C. glaucum (Bruguiére) from the Mediterranean Sea were studied using DNA analysis. Repetitive sequences of nuclear DNA were compared by Southern blotting of enzyme digested DNA fragments, separated on agarose gel by electrophoresis. Fragments were visualized by autoradiography using 32P labelled probes. These were nick translated, randomly sheared fragments of the whole chromosomal genomes of two species of distant taxa — Mytilus edulis and Mya arenaria, respectively. The number of detected DNA bands was 18 for C. edule, 32 for C. lamarcki, and 24 for C. glaucum. Measurements of genetic distances, based on comparisons of these repetitive sequences using a simple dissimilarity coefficients, show the greatest distance, i.e., 0.84 between C. edule and C. lamarcki, 0.69 between C. edule and C. glaucum, and the smallest, 0.52 between C. lamarcki and C. glaucum. Comparisons of the three Cardium types, using gene spliced and cloned C. edule nuclear DNA (nDNA) fragments as probes, accorded with these findings. Also, analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from eggs and hepatopancreas, although not in itself conclusive, accorded with the results of the analyses of nDNA. MtDNA was measured by electron micrograph to 15 000 base pairs (bp), and sizes of restriction enzyme digested fragments were compared by gel electrophoresis. The results of the comparisons based on repetitive sequences supported by the two other studies suggest that C. edule resembles the ancestral form more than the two others, and that C. lamarcki is the most different and recently evolved form. This hypothesis is discussed in relation to the geographical distribution of the species complex.


Southern Blotting Species Complex Repetitive Sequence Genetic Relation Label Probe 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Brock
    • 1
  • G. Christiansen
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Biological LaboratoryUniversity of CopenhagenHelsingørDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of AarhusAarhus CDenmark

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