The different morphs of Chthamalus anisopoma: A phenotypic response? Direct molecular evidence

O. Mokady, L. Mizrahi, R. Perl-Treves, Y. Achituv

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11 Scopus citations


Chthamalus anisopoma is a rock-inhabiting barnacle which appears in two radically different morphs: the shell may be either conical or bent at a right angle. Based on field experiments, it was previously concluded that the two morphs are phenotypic variants, with the bent morph being induced by the presence of a predator gastropod. In the present study we used molecular data in order to examine directly the degree of genetic similarity between the two morphs. We compared the sequences of two mitochondrial DNA segments previously shown to exhibit substantial inter-and intra-specific variability in barnacles: the 12S mt rDNA and the cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (CO1). The sequences obtained for the different C. anisopoma morphs showed complete identity (12s rDNA) or very high similarity (> 99.5%, CO1). We thus provide direct genetic evidence indicating that barnacles of the different morphs originate from a common gene pool. This supports previous conclusions that predation in this case is an inductive factor rather than selective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y. Achituv would like to thank Dr. W. A. Newman for warm hospitality and useful advice regarding the current study. This study was supported by the committee for the advancement of research, Bar Ilan University. [SS]


  • Cirripedia
  • Mt DNA
  • Phenotypic induction
  • Selection


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