Get access

Development and characterization of 12 microsatellite markers from the deep-sea hydrothermal vent siboglinid Riftia pachyptila


Timothy Shank, Associated Scientists at Wood Hole, P.O. Box 721, Woods Hole, MA, 02543, USA. Fax: (508) 457 2134; E-mail:


Ecological processes at deep-sea hydrothermal vents on fast-spreading mid-ocean ridges are punctuated by frequent physical disturbance, often accompanied by a high occurrence of population turnover. To persist through local extinction events, sessile invertebrate species living in these geologically and chemically dynamic habitats depend on larval dispersal. We characterized 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci from one such species, the siboglinid tubeworm Riftia pachyptila. All loci conformed to Hardy–Weinberg expectations without linkage (mean HE = 0.9405, mean NA = 20.25). These microsatellites are being employed in the investigation of spatial and temporal population genetic structure in the eastern Pacific Ocean.