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The aim of this study was to characterize new microsatellite loci in the razor clam Ensis arcuatus (Bivalvia: Pharidae) and examine the temporal genetic variability of a natural bed in Cies Islands (Galicia, north-western Spain) exploited by apnoea divers and affected by the Prestige oil tanker spill in November 2002. In this work, we characterized four polymorphic microsatellites using an alternative approach that relies on the amplification and sequencing of ISSR markers. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.1053-0.6800 and number of alleles from 4-19. Linkage equilibrium was observed in all loci and two of them showed significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Estimators of FST between samples were low (<0.05) and not different from zero with a confidence level of 5%. We did not detect a clear decreasing tendency in genetic diversity although we found a significant change in allelic frequencies among samples (P=0.0024) after the Prestige oil spill. We propose that both phenomena could be related to a high variance in genetic success and/or a movement of adults or larvae from different source populations. Copyright © 2009 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Publication Date





1703 - 1707