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A pilot study of genetic differentiation between two phenotypes of a Mediterranean population of the bivalve Cerastoderma glaucum and genetic discrimination with other Cerastoderma glaucum and Cerastoderma edule populations outside the Mediterranean


Rim Ladhar-Chaabouni, Université du Maine, EA2160 Mer Molécules Santé, Équipe Biologie Moléculaire Et Génétique Évolutive, Le Mans, F-72085 France. E-mail:


The internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region of 29 individuals of Cerastoderma glaucum (from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the North Sea) and 18 individuals of Cerastoderma edule (from the Atlantic and the North Sea) and the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) region of 43 individuals of C. glaucum (from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the North Sea) and 9 individuals of C. edule (from the Atlantic and the North Sea) were PCR amplified and sequenced. The ITS1 sequences led us to describe 27 genetic haplotypes, while 21 genetic haplotypes were determined via the COI sequences. The ITS1 and the COI sequences revealed an important genetic variability within the Mediterranean population of C. glaucum, which contained two different phenotypes: orange foot and yellow foot. A genetic differentiation between the two phenotypes was revealed by the nucleotide diversity index (π) and is strengthened by the AMOVA analysis. This result leads us to suspect the presence of two different groups in the same population of C. glaucum. Nevertheless to be confirmed this hypothesis requires further studies using more locations and a larger number of sample sizes.