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Allozyme Variation in Populations of Bothrops asper (Serpentes: Viperidae) in Costa Rica

Mahmood Sasa and Ramiro Barrantes
Herpetologica
Vol. 54, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 462-469
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3893440
Page Count: 8
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Allozyme Variation in Populations of Bothrops asper (Serpentes: Viperidae) in Costa Rica
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Abstract

We investigated allozyme variation from Costa Rican populations of the fer-de-lance, Bothrops asper. Blood samples were taken from a total of 100 specimens from six localities representing three major physiographic regions: Atlantic versant, Central Pacific lowlands, and Southwestern Pacific lowlands. Five of 16 protein coding loci (phosphogluconate mutase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, glucose 6-phosphate isomerase, malate dehydrogenase, and carbonic anhydrase-1) were polymorphic. Average heterozygosity for these loci varied between 2.9% and 5.5%. Genetic distances among samples from localities from the same physiographic region were not significantly different from zero. Pairwise comparisons between regions also resulted in low estimated distances. Analysis of population structure suggests high levels of gene flow among populations. Rates of evolution of venom and morphology previously reported for populations of this species seem to be uncoupled from rates of allozyme variation. /// En Costa Rica, gran diversidad en caracteres morfológicos, toxicológicos y de historia natural han sido previamente reportados entre poblaciones de la serpiente Bothrops asper. Con el fin de investigar la relación genética de esas diferencias, se evaluó la variación isozímica entre poblaciones de Bothrops asper en ese país. Se tomaron muestras de sangre de un total de 100 individuos provenientes de seis localidades representando a tres regiones fisiográficas: Vertiente Caribe, Pacífico Central y Pacífico Sur. De los 16 loci estudiados, cinco (Pgm-A, Icdh-A, Gpi-A, sMdh-A) resultaron polimórficos. El porcentaje de heterozigosis promedio por población varió entre 2.9 y 5.5%. Las distancias genéticas estimadas entre poblaciones fueron muy bajas. El análisis de la estructura génica indica que poblaciones de Bothrops asper en Costa Rica poseen alto flujo génico y gran homogeneidad genética entre ellas. Nuestros análisis sugieren evolución independiente entre los caracteres genéticos y fenotípicos observados en estas poblaciones. Se sugiere que la gran diversidad en veneno y morfologia en esta especie pueda estar asociada con diferencias de selección a nivel local.

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