Conservation Genetics

, 10:657 | Cite as

Characterisation of microsatellite loci in the habitat-forming kelp, Ecklonia radiata (Phaeophyceae, Laminariales)

Technical Note


Habitat forming algae play an important role in the ecology of temperate reefs worldwide. Despite this, our understanding of levels of gene flow within and among populations of algae is largely limited to studies on intertidal species; we know comparatively little about important habitat-forming subtidal algae. Here, we develop eight polymorphic microsatellite markers for the characterisation of population genetic diversity and structure in the subtidal kelp, Ecklonia radiata. This large macroalga is the most abundant habitat-forming kelp on the subtidal rocky reefs of temperate Australia and New Zealand where it forms extensive forests that support an astounding diversity of associated taxa.


Ecklonia radiata Microsatellites Kelp Habitat forming 



We thank Drs. Brendan Kelaher and Nathan Knott and Ms. Louise McKenzie for help with fieldwork, Matthew Hayden for assisting with the STM technique and Dr. Joe Valentine for E. radiata samples from Tasmania. This work was funded by an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to M.A. Coleman.


  1. Belkhir K, Borsa P, Chikhi L, Raufaste N, Bonhomme F (2000) Genetix, a windows™ based software for population genetic analyses. Laboratoire Génome, Populations, Interactions CNRS UMR 5000, Université de Montpellier II, Montpellier, France.
  2. Billot C, Engel CR, Rousvoal S, Kloareg B, Valero M (2003) Current patterns, habitat discontinuities and population genetic structure: the case of the kelp Laminaria digitata in the English Channel. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 253:111–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coyer JA, Olsen JL, Stam WT (1997) Genetic variability and spatial separation in the sea palm kelp, Postelsia palmaeformis (Phaeophyceae) as assessed with M13 fingerprints and RAPDs. J Phycol 33:561–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dayton PK (1973) Dispersion, dispersal, and persistence of the annual intertidal alga, Postelsia palmaeformis Ruprecht. Ecology 54:433–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deysher L, Norton TA (1982) Dispersal and colonization in Sargassum muticum (Yendo) Fensholt. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 56:179–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goudet J (1995) FSTAT (ver. 1.2): a computer program to calculate F-statistics. J Hered 86:485–486Google Scholar
  7. Hayden MJ, Stephenson P, Logojan AM (2004) A new approach to extending the wheat marker pool by anchored PCR amplification of compound SSRs. Theor Appl Genet 108:733–742PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kendrick GA, Walker DI (1991) Dispersal distances for propagules of Sargassum spinuligerum (Sargassaceae, Phaeophyta) measured directly by vital staining and veturi suction sampling. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 79:133–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kusumo HT, Druehl LD (2000) Variability over space and time in the winded kelp Alaria marginata. Mar Biol 136:397–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lu TT, Williams SL (1994) Genetic diversity and genetic structure in the brown alga Halidrys dioica (Fucales: Cystoseiraceae). Mar Biol 121:363–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Miller KA, Olsen JL, Stam WT (2000) Genetic divergence correlated with morphological and ecological subdivision in the deep-water elk kelp Pelagophycus porra (Phaeophyceae). J Phycol 36:862–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reed DC, Schroeter SC, Raimondi PT (2004) Spore supply and habitat availability as sources of recruitment limitation in the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera (Phaeophyceae). J Phycol 40:275–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rozen S, Skaletsky HJ (2000) Primer3 on the WWW for general users and for biologist programmers. In: Krawetz S, Misener S (eds) Bioinformatics methods and protocols: methods in molecular biology. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, pp 365–386Google Scholar
  14. Wright JT, Zuccarello GC, Steinberg PD (2000) Genetic structure in the subtidal red alga Delisea pulchra. Mar Biol 136:239–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Zechman FW, Mathieson AC (1985) The distribution of seaweed propagules in estuarine, coastal offshore water of New Hampshire, USA. Bot Mar 28:283–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The School of Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Center for Marine BioinnovationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations