Polymerase chain reaction and direct comparison of mitochondrial DNA sequences from a cytochrome b gene fragment were used to identify two morphologically distinct larval types of Xyrichtys, a genus of tropical wrasse (Pisces: Labridae). Both larval types were collected during ichthyoplankton surveys on the Middle Atlantic Bight shelf in the summer of 1988. DNA sequence comparisons indicated that both types were larvae of Xyrichtys novacula (Linnaeus). Back-calculated birthdate distributions for those larvae collected on the Middle Atlantic Bight shelf demonstrated that the two larval types formed two distinct cohorts indicating a biological difference. The two distinct larval types may be a consequence of an ecophenotypic effect, or they may represent offspring from genetically distinct populations. These results emphasize that important biological and oceanographic information can be gained through the use of the polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing for larval identificaiton.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science