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Molecular approaches to bivalve population studies: a review

Author(s): Dragomir-Cosmin David | Dario Savini

Journal: Analele Ştiinţifice Ale Universităţii Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iași,Sectiunea II A : Genetica si Biologie Moleculara
ISSN 1582-3571

Volume: 12;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

This paper presents a literature review concerning the importance of molecular approaches in bivalve’s population study. The class Bivalvia counts more than 20,000 species with a wide distribution both in freshwater and marine environment. Given their importance especially in aquaculture as a source of food, they have also a strong economic impact upon human society. This review encompasses best practices in bivalve studies from field sampling to laboratory analyses, addressing questions about molecular methods and tools commonly used by specialized researchers. Molecular tools specifically deals with phylogeography, population genetics, biology, ecology and taxonomy. In all these fields, molecular markers play an important role by completing some unanswered questions such as the role of the bivalves in the ecosystems in relation to anthropogenic and global change issues. Numerous genetic markers were developed for specific problems, thereferore we identify as a major issue the absence of uniform and universally recognized methods. The various sections of the paper emphasize from peer reviewed literature literature which are considered the most useful markers, costs and benefits of different methodology, major gaps of bivalve population studies. By reviewing virtually all genetic markers employed during nearly half a century of bivalve molecular research, in our opinion two are the best option “tools: the mitochondrial COI (cytochrome oxidase subunit I) and nuclear ITS2 (internal transcribed spacer 2).

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