Phylogeography of the ocean quahog (Arctica islandica): influences of paleoclimate on genetic diversity and species range
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The ocean quahog, Arctica islandica (Linnaeus, 1767), is a commercially important bivalve found on continental shelves throughout much of the North Atlantic. To assess genetic subdivision in this species, we sequenced 385 nucleotides of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene from 83 specimens collected from 12 localities between September 1998 and July 1999 (based on preliminary data, the Internal Transcribed Spacers, ITS, of the nuclear ribosomal repeat were not useful). The cyt b data delimited 11 haplotypes with 0.26 to 8.1% nucleotide difference (coded by 36 variable nucleotide positions) among them. Only three haplotypes were detected in 39 specimens collected along the USA coastline, compared to five haplotypes from nine Icelandic individuals. The western Atlantic populations ranging from Penobscot Bay (Maine, USA) to southern Virginia showed relatively low diversity and appeared genetically similar in that region. Based on the presence of shared haplotypes, AMOVA analyses, and phylogenetic reconstructions, Icelandic populations appear to be more genetically similar to western Atlantic populations than eastern Atlantic populations. Specimens from the Faroe Islands (n=4) show mixed affinities. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that a warm Holocene climatic optimum (ca. 7,500 years BP), and not glacial refugia, shaped the present-day genetic structure in A. islandica.
KeywordsInternal Transcribe Spacer Bivalve Continental Shelf Shared Haplotype Glacial Refugium
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