Allozyme variability was studied in 11 polymorphic loci in three samples of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis using the method of gel electrophoresis. One sample was taken from a population of normal environmental conditions (Avacha Bay, Kamchatka Peninsula), the other two were sampled in Kraternaya Bay (Yankicha Island, the Kuriles): the first sample was from a bottom site where the animals were subjected to continuous stress resulting from the products of volcanic hydrothermal vents and the second sample was from a bottom site where that stress effect was periodical. Statistically significant differences in the genotypic allele frequencies and in levels of heterozygosity of some loci were revealed between the Avacha Bay and Kraternaya Bay samples. Moreover, similar differences, but in other loci, were revealed for the Kraternaya Bay samples. The possible causes of these distinctions are discussed. A conclusion on the primary role of natural selection in the origin of the observed distinctions and on the conformity of the observed data to the hypothesis of selective significance of a part of the allozyme polymorphism is put forth.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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