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Zoolog Sci 2004 Oct 01;2110:1057-61. doi: 10.2108/zsj.21.1057.
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Molecular evidence of the existence of two sibling species within the echinothurioid echinoid Asthenosoma ijimai from Japanese waters.

Matsuoka N , Kohyama K , Arakawa E , Amemiya S .

The echinoid, Asthenosoma ijimai belonging to the order Echinothurioida from Japanese waters shows the geographical variation in morphological and ecological characters. The echinothurioid from Ryukyu Islands in southern Japan is cleary different from that of Sagami Bay and Suruga Bay in the middle part of Japan at non-molecular level. Their phylogenetic and taxonomic relationships were studied at the molecular level by allozyme analysis. The results demonstrated that the two echinothurioids from Ryukyu Islands and Sagami Bay do not share gene pools with each other, and they were fixed for different alleles at five genetic loci (Mdh, G6pd, Po, Alk-3 and Est-7) in a total of 23 enzyme genetic loci scored. This indicates no gene flow between the two echinothurioids, and is a molecular evidence for that they are reproductively isolated and genetically distinct species. The Nei''s genetic distance (D=0.181) between the two were significantly higher than those between conspecific local populations, and comparable to those between closely related species in many other animals containing echinoderms. The present molecular data are well consistent with the non-molecular evidence from morphology, developmental biology and ecology. Putting these data together, we propose that the two echinothurioids should be classified as two sibling species of the genus Asthenosoma and would like to give the following scientific names: the echinothurioid species from Sagami Bay is Asthenosoma ijimai and that from Ryukyu Islands is A. ijimai R.

PubMed ID: 15514475
Article link: Zoolog Sci

Genes referenced: g6pd LOC115921638 LOC115929526