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image of Crustaceana

By means of an RAPD analysis, the degree of genetic variation in the European lobster, Homarus gammarus, was assessed. We focused our attention on the Helgoland population, which is isolated by its geographical location. By comparison with seven other European lobster populations we demonstrated that the Helgoland lobster is genetically widely separated from other European lobster stocks. However, all populations investigated showed high values of genetic distance, indicating that genetic exchange among European populations of Homarus gammarus may be restricted. The European lobster populations appeared to be isolated by distance since the pattern of genetic relationships reflects their geographic location. We thus suggest a distinct, genetical population structure, possibly maintained by genetic drift within relatively isolated local populations and restricted gene flow between them. This contrasts to the homogeneous population structure of the American lobster, Homarus americanus.

Mit Hilfe der RAPD Analyse wurde der Grad der genetischen Variation bei Homarus gammarus, dem Europäischen Hummer, bestimmt. Dabei konzentrierten wir unser Interesse auf den Helgoländer Hummer, eine Population, die durch ihre geographische Lage isoliert ist. Durch Vergleich mit sieben anderen europäischen Hummerpopulationen zeigten wir, daß der Helgoländer Hummer genetisch deutlich von anderen europäischen Hummerstocks getrennt ist. Alle untersuchten Populationen zeigten relativ große genetische Distanzen untereinander. Dieses Resultat deutet darauf hin, daß der genetische Austausch zwischen den Populationen des Europäischen Hummers eingeschränkt sein könnte. Die untersuchten Populationen des Europäischen Hummers scheinen durch ihre räumliche Distanz genetisch voneinander getrennt zu sein, da die beobachteten genetischen Muster ihre geographische Verteilung widerspiegeln. Aus diesem Grund vermuten wir eine charakteristische genetische Populationsstruktur, die möglicherweise durch eine genetische Drift innerhalb mehr oder weniger isolierten lokalen Populationen und dem damit verbundenen eingeschränkten Genfluß zwischen solchen Populationen hervorgerufen wird. Dieses Resultat steht im Gegensatz zu der homogenen Populationsstruktur des Amerikanischen Hummers, Homarus americanus.

Affiliations: 1: Biologische Anstalt Helgoland-AWI, Meeresstation, D-27498 Helgoland, Germany; 2: Zoologisches Institut, Universtity of Mainz, D-55099 Mainz, Germany


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