Abstract


GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION OF THE CORALS STYLOPHORA PISTILLATA AND POCILLOPORA VERRUCOSA ACROSS MULTIPLE SPATIAL SCALES IN THE RED SEA

Observing populations at different spatial scales gives greater insight into the specific processes driving genetic differentiation and population structure. Here we assessed connectivity across multiple spatial scales in the Red Sea to determine the population structures of two reef building corals Stylophora pistillata and Pocillopora verrucosa. The Red sea is a 2,250 km long body of water with extremely variable latitudinal environmental gradients, where genetic isolation by environment and distance has previously been found in other organisms. Mitochondrial and microsatellite markers were used to determine lineages and to look for genetic differentiation among sampling sites. No distinctive population structure across the latitudinal gradient was discovered for P. verrucosa, suggesting a phenotypic plasticity to various environments. This is corroborated by a lack of genetic differentiation at a fine scale. S. pistillata displayed a heterogeneous distribution of three distinct genetic populations on both a fine and a large scale. Fst, Gst, and Dest were all significant (p-value<0.05) and showed moderate genetic differentiation between all sampling sites. However, this seems to be a byproduct of the heterogeneous distribution, as no distinct genetic population breaks were found at the large scale. Greater population structure was found on a fine scale for S. pistillata suggesting genetic selection based on fine scale environmental variations. However, further environmental and oceanographic data is needed to make more inferences on this structure at small spatial scales.

Authors

Monroe, A. M., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, alison.monroe@kaust.edu.sa

Robitzch, V., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, vanessa.robitzchsierra@kaust.edu.sa

Banguera-Hinestroza, E., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

Voolstra, C. R., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, christian.voolstra@kaust.edu.sa

Berumen, M. L., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, michael.berumen@kaust.edu.sa

Details

Oral presentation

Session #:05
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 16:15
Location: 313 B

Presentation is given by student: Yes