Assessment of three mitochondrial loci variability for the crown-of-thorns starfish: A first insight into Acanthaster phylogeography

Abstract : Acanthaster planci (L.) is one of the major threats to coral reefs, whose genetic diversity has been mainly studied with allozymes. Allozymes revealed the low genetic differentiation between A. planci populations in the Indo-Pacific area. We obtained sequences of A. planci from Kenya, Mayotte and Madagascar at the three loci cytochrome oxydase subunit I (COI), 16S rDNA (16S) and five tRNAs, analysed together with available sequences of Acanthaster from the Pacific Ocean. The level of genetic diversity varied among the three loci, tRNAs being on average three times less divergent than COI and 16S genes. The genus Acanthaster appeared monophyletic, the two species A. brevispinus (Fisher) and A. planci forming distinct clades in agreement with data from morphology and systematics. The A. planci clade split into a West Indian Ocean group and a Pacific group, in agreement with allozyme data on population differentiation.
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Karin Gérard, Charlotte Roby, Nicolas Chevalier, Bernard Thomassin, Anne Chenuil, et al.. Assessment of three mitochondrial loci variability for the crown-of-thorns starfish: A first insight into Acanthaster phylogeography. Comptes Rendus Biologies, Elsevier Masson, 2008, 331 (2), pp.137-143. ⟨10.1016/j.crvi.2007.11.005⟩. ⟨hal-01631359⟩

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