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High genetic variability in a population of Tridacna maxima from the Great Barrier Reef


A population of the bivalve mollusk Tridacna maxima (Röding) from Hron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, was studied by gel electrophoresis, and proved to be highly variable genetically, with an average heterozygosity of about 22%. This compares closely with a population of T. maxima from Enewetak (Eniwetok) Atoll, with an average heterozygosity of about 20%, very high for marine organisms. Enewetak Atoll was the site of a series of nuclear tests. The Heron Island study verifies that the high variability is natural, and supports the hypothesis that species from trophically stable environments tend to be highly variable genetically. © 1975 Springer-Verlag.

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