Conservation Genetics

, 10:1989 | Cite as

Characterization of polymorphic microsatellites for the rough periwinkle gastropod, Littorina saxatilis (Olivi, 1792) and their cross-amplification in four congeners

  • Caitríona E. McInerney
  • A. Louise Allcock
  • Mark P. Johnson
  • Paulo A. Prodöhl
Technical Note


Eight new microsatellite loci were characterized for Littorina saxatilis (Olivi, 1792) and tested for their cross-hybridization in congeners. All loci were polymorphic in Irish and Celtic Sea samples, with an average number of alleles per locus of 15 (range, 6–31). Observed and expected locus heterozygosities ranged from 26 to 85% and from 53 to 92%, respectively. Three loci showed excess homozygosity and significant departures from Hardy–Weinberg expectations in one sample, possibly due to null alleles, population structuring or inbreeding. No linkage disequilibrium was detected among loci within samples. A high degree of cross-hybridization was observed in closely related congeners and most loci were polymorphic. These markers will be useful for investigating population genetic diversity and connectivity in coastal populations, especially for marine reserve design.


Littorina saxatilis Enrichment Microsatellite Gastropod Population genetics Littorina 



C. McInerney was supported by a grant from the Higher Education Authority, Ireland awarded to M. P. Johnson, A. L. Allcock, and P. A. Prodöhl. We thank J. Nunn, O. Mulholland, M. Jessopp, J. Leal-Flórez and M. Hughes for assistance with fieldwork and helpful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caitríona E. McInerney
    • 1
  • A. Louise Allcock
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark P. Johnson
    • 2
  • Paulo A. Prodöhl
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological Sciences, Medical Biology CentreQueen’s University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.Martin Ryan Marine Science InstituteNational University of Ireland GalwayGalwayIreland

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