Genetic diversity and demographic instability in Riftia pachyptila tubeworms from eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents.
D Katharine Coykendall, Shannon B Johnson, Stephen A Karl, Richard A Lutz, Robert C Vrijenhoek
BMC Evol Biol | Published : 2011
BACKGROUND: Deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals occupy patchy and ephemeral habitats supported by chemosynthetic primary production. Volcanic and tectonic activities controlling the turnover of these habitats contribute to demographic instability that erodes genetic variation within and among colonies of these animals. We examined DNA sequences from one mitochondrial and three nuclear gene loci to assess genetic diversity in the siboglinid tubeworm, Riftia pachyptila, a widely distributed constituent of vents along the East Pacific Rise and Galápagos Rift. RESULTS: Genetic differentiation (F(ST)) among populations increased with geographical distances, as expected under a linear stepping-ston..View full abstract