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Differential patterns of spatial divergence in microsatellite and allozyme alleles: further evidence for locus-specific selection in the acorn barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides?

Authors

  • F Dufresne,

    Corresponding author
    1. Département de Biologie, Université Laval, Cité Universitaire, Sainte-Foy, Canada,
    2. Département de Biologie, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300 allée des ursulines, Rimouski, Québec, Canada, G5L 3A1,
      F. Dufresne. Fax: +1 418 724 1849 E-mail: France_dufresne@uqar.uquebec.ca
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  • E Bourget,

    1. Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
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  • L Bernatchez

    1. Département de Biologie, Université Laval, Cité Universitaire, Sainte-Foy, Canada,
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F. Dufresne. Fax: +1 418 724 1849 E-mail: France_dufresne@uqar.uquebec.ca

Abstract

We compared patterns of genetic structure at potentially selected (two allozyme loci) and neutral molecular markers (six microsatellite loci) in the acorn barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Our results confirmed the presence of a geographical shift in alleles MPI and GPI near the Miramichi River. In contrast, no significant patterns of population differentiation among samples located north and south of the river mouth were detected for four of six microsatellite loci. However, analysis of molecular variance (amova) at individual loci revealed that a significant proportion of the total variance in allele frequencies was partitioned among samples located north and south of the river for both the allozyme and the other two microsatellite loci. The two most common alleles at these microsatellites showed frequencies that were highly correlated (r = 0.65–0.74, P < 0.05) with those of the MPI*2 allele, perhaps because of either physical linkage or epistasis. The two allozyme loci were significantly correlated in barnacles located north of the Miramichi River (r = 0.86, P < 0.05). Overall, our results supported the hypothesis that the broad scale pattern of allozyme allelic shifts is maintained by selection. They also indicated that microsatellites may not always behave in a neutral way and must be used cautiously, especially when evidence for genetic structuring relies on only a few assayed loci.

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