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Genetic divergence between colour morphs in populations of the common intertidal sea anemones Actinia equina and A. prasina (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) in the Isle of Man



Genetic divergence between colour morphs in populations of the common intertidal sea anemones Actinia equina and A. prasina (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) in the Isle of Man



Marine Biology (Berlin): 1122: 243-252



A distinctive morph of Actinia equina (L.) is found at low frequency among populations on intertidal hard substrata on some shores on the Isle of Man UK . This morph is red with rows of green oval spots or elongate markings running longitudinally down the column. Starch gel electrophoresis of 21 allozyme loci was used to compare samples of this morph from two localities with other sympatric Actinia spp. Collections were made in early summer 1986. For one sampling site the comparison was with red A. equina and green A. prasina Gosse, whilst at the other site with red A. equina only. At both sites significant genetic differences in allele frequencies at several loci were found between the new morph and sympatric A. equina and A. prasina. The results also confirm the reproductive isolation of A. prasina. As with much previous work on sea anemones, levels of mean hetrerozygosity per locus (H) were found to be high (H = 0.157 to 0.342). A surprising feature of the results, although bearing out earlier unpublished data, is that high levels of genetic differentiation are found between populations of what appear to be the same morphs collected from shores only a few km apart. Among the Actinia spp. studies, differentiation between populations of the same morph on different shores was of the same order as between sympatric, reproductively isolated populations.

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Accession: 017920137

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