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Research articles

ScienceAsia (): 6-16 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874...006

Morphometric and molecular analysis of Gracilaria salicornia and its adelphoparasite in Thailand

Noppadol Kongkittayapun, Anong Chirapart*

ABSTRACT:     The red seaweed, Gracilaria salicornia and its adelphoparasite were collected from eleven study sites along the east and west coasts of the Gulf of Thailand. Eight morphometric characters of G. salicornia and seven of the parasite were examined. Sets of the multivariate data of the host and the parasite were analysed by the discriminant function in combination with a clustering procedure. The analysis showed that the populations of G. salicornia and the adelphoparasite could be divided into two groups, but the degree of separation was low (p=0.05, n=39). This close relation among populations of the algal host and of the parasite grown at different habitats was confirmed by DNA-fragment polymorphism using the random amplified polymorphic DNA technique. Twelve out of the 20 screened primers gave polymorphism. The DNA fingerprints were visually analysed and clustered using the TFPGA program. Differences in the data sets were tested with the UPGMA program which showed identity values close to one, and were in agreement with the analysis of the discriminant function. In addition, this study showed that differences in external appearance may depend on environmental factors in the habitat, particularly high seawater turbidity. Parasite colour was closely related to populations collected from different locations, indicating that all plants of the parasite were possibly the same species.

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Department of Fishery Biology, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: ffisanc@ku.ac.th

Received 15 May 2009, Accepted 25 Feb 2011