MtDNA and nuclear data reveal patterns of low genetic differentiation for the isopods Stenosoma lancifer and Stenosoma acuminatum, with low dispersal ability along the northeast Atlantic coast


  • Raquel Xavier CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos - Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto
  • António Murias Santos CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos - Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto
  • Madalena Branco CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos



phylogeography, Stenosoma, direct development, glacial refugia, Pleistocene Glaciations, demographic expansion, connectivity


Evidence for a general lack of genetic differentiation of intertidal invertebrate assemblages in the North Atlantic, based on mtDNA sequence variation, has been interpreted as resulting from recent colonization following the Last Glacial Maximum. In the present study, the phylogeographic patterns of one nuclear and one mtDNA gene fragments of two isopods, Stenosoma lancifer (Miers, 1881) and Stenosoma acuminatum Leach, 1814, from the northeast Atlantic were investigated. These organisms have direct development, which makes them poor dispersers, and are therefore expected to maintain signatures of past historical events in their genomes. Lack of genetic structure, significant deviations from neutrality and star-like haplotype networks have been observed for both mtDNA and nuclear markers of S. lancifer, as well as for the mtDNA of S. acuminatum. No sequence variation was observed for the nuclear gene fragment of S. acuminatum. These results suggest a scenario of recent colonization and demographic expansion and/or high population connectivity driven by ocean currents and sporadic long-distance dispersal through rafting.


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How to Cite

Xavier R, Murias Santos A, Branco M. MtDNA and nuclear data reveal patterns of low genetic differentiation for the isopods Stenosoma lancifer and Stenosoma acuminatum, with low dispersal ability along the northeast Atlantic coast. scimar [Internet]. 2012Mar.30 [cited 2021Sep.27];76(1):133-40. Available from: