The Kanab ambersnail (Oxyloma haydeni kanabensis) is a federally endangered mollusc currently known to reside in two locations in the southwestern U.S.A. To determine the extent of within- and between-population genetic variation of this taxon, the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique was used to generate 110 genetic markers among individuals sampled from the two Kanab ambersnail populations and from the only two known south-western populations of the Niobrara ambersnail (Oxyloma haydeni haydeni) in Utah and northern Arizona. Additional information was obtained from sequence data of cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase I gene fragments. Results suggest high levels of differentiation among populations, as evidenced through the application of UPGMA (unweighted pair-group method with arthimetic averaging) clustering, F statistics, and Fisher's exact test. Various levels of within-population genetic diversity were observed among populations. Expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.239 to 0.086 under a model assuming Hardy-Weinberg genotypic proportions and ranged from 0.205 to 0.061 under an obligate-selfing completely homozygous model. Results from cluster analyses showed that one Kanab ambersnail population and one Niobrara ambersnail population were more similar than the two Kanab ambersnail populations studied (supported by >80% of bootstrap replicates). These findings were further supported through the phylogenetic analysis of both mitochondrial gene fragments. The data suggest that taxonomic designations need revision, an act that will likely affect the protected status of some of the populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology