Original Article

Heredity (1994) 73, 47–56; doi:10.1038/hdy.1994.97

Genetic and morphometric differentiation in Old World bisexual species of Artemia (the brine shrimp)

Ernani J S Pilla1 and John A Beardmore1

1School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Swansea, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK

Correspondence: Ernani J S Pilla, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Swansea, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.

Received 16 December 1993.

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Abstract

We studied bisexual populations of Eastern Old World (EOW) brine shrimp (Artemia) from China (A. sinica and Artemia sp.), Kazakhstan (Artemia sp.) and Iran (A. urmiana), together with one population of Western Old World (WOW) A. tunisiana (Italy) and a New World (NW) population of A. franciscana (U.S.A.). Allozyme electrophoresis, discriminant analyses of morphometric characters, and laboratory tests for reproductive isolation were performed. Brine shrimp show a wide range of levels of both genetic variation and differentiation, based on 20 loci (mean He = 0.058–0.108; Nei's D = 0.005–1.501). Mean genetic distance values are of an order usually associated with specific separation. Barriers to gene flow between EOW and WOW populations are not absolute as they are between Old World and New World populations. Among EOW populations no significant reproductive isolation was found, and high levels of genetic differentiation exist (mean FST = 0.616) despite minimal apparent reproductive isolation. However, discrimination based on morphometric characters within the EOW group clearly separates A. urmiana from the other populations. The use of male morphometric characters has proven at least as informative in correctly assigning individuals to the appropriate group as the more traditionally used female characters. There is no evident overall congruence between genetic, geographical and morphometric distances between the EOW populations studied.

Keywords:

Artemia, bisexual, genetic differentiation, morphometrics, Old World

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