Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral

Andrea M. Quattrini, Iliana Brigitta Baums, Timothy M. Shank, Cheryl L. Morrison, Erik E. Cordes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The depth-differentiation hypothesis proposes that the bathyal region is a source of genetic diversity and an area where there is a high rate of species formation. Genetic differentiation should thus occur over relatively small vertical distances, particularly along the upper continental slope (200–1000 m) where oceanography varies greatly over small differences in depth. To test whether genetic differentiation within deepwater octocorals is greater over vertical rather than geographical distances, Callogorgia delta was targeted. This species commonly occurs throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging from 400 to 900 m. We found significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.042) across seven sites spanning 400 km of distance and 400 m of depth. A pattern of isolation by depth emerged, but geographical distance between sites may further limit gene flow. Water mass boundaries may serve to isolate populations across depth; however, adaptive divergence with depth is also a possible scenario. Microsatellite markers also revealed significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.434) between C. delta and a closely related species, Callogorgia americana, demonstrating the utility of microsatellites in species delimitation of octocorals. Results provided support for the depthdifferentiation hypothesis, strengthening the notion that factors covarying with depth serve as isolation mechanisms in deep-sea populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20150008
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume282
Issue number1807
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2015

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Microsatellite Repeats
Oceanography
Gulf of Mexico
Gene Flow
Testing
genetic differentiation
Oceans and Seas
Population
genetic variation
Genes
testing
Water
microsatellite repeats
adaptive radiation
oceanography
continental slope
water mass
gene flow
deep sea
divergence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Quattrini, Andrea M. ; Baums, Iliana Brigitta ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Morrison, Cheryl L. ; Cordes, Erik E. / Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 282, No. 1807.
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Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral. / Quattrini, Andrea M.; Baums, Iliana Brigitta; Shank, Timothy M.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Cordes, Erik E.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 282, No. 1807, 20150008, 22.05.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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