Molecular Biology and Genetics
Several microsatellite markers have been produced for the assessment of genetic diversity and paternity analyses in Sepia apama (Genbank accession numbers EF368216-224, AY617047, AY617024, AY616977, AY616950, AF533071-8, AY294335-353). Recent genetic evidence (using allozyme electrophoresis, microsatellites and mitochondrial nucleotide sequences) has revealed three major genetically distinct groups of Sepia apama. It has been recommended that each of these groups be managed separately to preserve genetic diversity. Initial paternity analysis of the complex mating system of the giant cuttlefish indicates that this mating system has a high level of multiple mating that results in multiple paternity; males of any size or status can obtain successful fertilizations. Genetic analysis has also shown that the two female sperm storage areas (the short-term spermatangia - in the buccal area- and the long-term sperm receptacle - beneath the beak) both can contain sperm from multiple males. Of the two storage areas, sperm from the spermatangia (recent matings within a few hours or days) is used more frequently to fertilize eggs than sperm from the receptacle.
Kassahn, K. S., S. C. Donnellan, A. J. Fowler, K. C. Hall, M. Adams, and P. W. Shaw. 2003. Molecular and morphological analyses of the cuttlefish Sepia apama indicate a complex population structure. Mar Biol 143: 947-962.
Naud, M. J., P. W. Shaw, R. T. Hanlon, and J. N. Havenhand. 2005. Evidence for biased use of sperm sources in wild female giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama). Proc R Soc Lond Ser B-Biol Sci 272: 1047-1051.
Naud, M. J., R. T. Hanlon, K. C. Hall, P. W. Shaw, and J. N. Havenhand. 2004. Behavioural and genetic assessment of reproductive success in a spawning aggregation of the Australian giant cuttlefish, Sepia apama. Anim Behav 67: 1043-1050.
Shaw, P. W. 2003. Polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers for the assessment of genetic diversity and paternity testing in the giant cuttlefish, Sepia apama (Cephalopoda). Conserv Genet 4: 533-535.
Wheaton, L., S. C. Donnellan, M. C. De, M. G. Gardner, and B. M. Gillanders. 2007. Isolation of additional polymorphic tri- and tetranucleotide microsatellite loci for the giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama). Mol Ecol Notes 7: 893-895.
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