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Keywords:

  • heterozygote deficiency;
  • microsatellite;
  • Montastraea;
  • population structure;
  • Porites;
  • Scleractinia

Abstract

The ability to assess genetic variation is critical for determining genetic diversity and population structure. In corals, slow evolutionary rates in mitochondrial genomes have left allozymes as the only markers presently available to investigate patterns of intraspecific genetic variation. Characteristics of microsatellites render them more informative than allozymes for such analyses; however, few coral microsatellites are available. This study describes polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated from two scleractinian coral species. Most loci exhibit significant heterozygote deficiencies, likely due to nonrandom mating or Wahlund effects. These markers are being used to investigate gene flow among populations, providing insight into reef connectivity.