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Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 51(1): 113-122



Nuclear DNA content in Gelidium chilense (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) from the Chilean coast

Noemi Salvador-Soler1, Erasmo C. Macaya2,4,5, Jordi Rull-Lluch3 and Amelia Gómez-Garreta3

1Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Av. Alemania, 01090. Temuco, 4810101, Chile
2Laboratorio de Estudios Algales (ALGALAB), Departamento de Oceanografía, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
3Laboratori de Botànica, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028, Barcelona, Spain
4Millennium Nucleus Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Island (ESMOI), Coquimbo, Chile
5Centro FONDAP de Investigaciones en Dinámica de Ecosistemas Marinos de Altas Latitudes (IDEAL)


The southwestern Gulf of California has high-value commercial fisheries; however, there are few studies of the taxonomic diversity of fish in this area. Surveys of taxonomic diversity of the fish assemblage at 8 localities near the shore of Bahía de La Paz were undertaken from March 2002 to April 2003. Seasonal changes in diversity of rocky reef fish were analyzed, including taxonomic distance among fish species, using the alpha, alpha average, beta, and gamma diversity indices, the taxonomic distinctness index (TD D*), and the average taxonomic distinctness index (AvTD D+). Submarine visual censuses were carried out along 48 transects measuring 100 × 5 m (500 m2) at 5 m average depth from 09:00-16:00 h. Two seasons were studied: winter with an average temperature of 22.57°C, and summer with an average temperature of 27.09°C. 24,633 fishes, belonging to 92 species and 67 genera were recorded. According to the alpha average, beta, and gamma diversity indices, August had the highest diversity (19.5, 40.5, and 60 species, respectively), and December had the lowest diversity (20.6, 27.4, and 48 species, respectively). Spatial analysis of TD and AvTD were not significantly different, and analysis by season of these indices was not significant different. Greater anthropogenic impact would cause differences in TD and AvTD found at El Guano compared with other locations.
There has been progress in novel additions of algal data to the Plant DNA C-values database during recent years; however more information is still required. Specifically, in the case of red algae (Rhodophyta), from ~7000 species described up to date, DNA C-values for only 196 species have been incorporated (~3%). This research represents the first estimation of genome size for the Southeast Pacific endemic red alga Gelidium chilense and provides nuclear features such as number per cell and size. Nuclear DNA content estimates were obtained from measurements of 153 DAPI-stained nuclei. The cells of G. chilense showed intra-plant variation with DNA content values ranging from 0.2-4.0 pg and a total of 6 ploidy levels were found. The lowest level (1C) was observed only in outer cortical cells whereas tetrasporangia displayed the highest levels (16C). The nuclear DNA contents obtained in tetrasporangia indicated that the genome size increases during tetrasporogenesis by endopolyploidy (from 4C to 16C). In addition, the minimum value observed in tetraspores corresponds to a 3C. Our results confirm the hypothesis that meiosis does not occur within the sporangia in G. chilense. This study contributes to knowledge of reproductive strategies related with the life history of Gelidiales.

Key words: DNA content, endoreduplication, Gelidium, life history, polyploidy


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