The honeycomb worm Sabellaria chandraae is the most common reef-building polychaete along the west coast of India, living in the intertidal area. Understanding factors that control the larval dispersal and larval supply of intertidal populations is a fundamental issue on the conservation biology, measuring connectivity patterns, and these methods often assume the dispersal patterns. We used the Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) and nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) genes to examine the levels of genetic variation among population. The samples were collected from eight intertidal areas Ganapati Pule (GP), Devgad (DG), Vengrula (VG), Arambol (AL), and Palolem (PL), Mangalore (MG), Kannur (KN) and Kanyakumari (KK) along the west coast of India. The hierarchical Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) showed no significant genetic difference among population (FST = -0.005, P=0.85). Our results suggest the low genetic variation reveals the single stock population balance by oceanographic circulation of seasonally reversible West India Coastal Current (WICC) which regulate gene flow and favorable to larvae dispersing.
Keywords: Genetic connectivity, Genetic diversity, West Indian Coastal Current, Sabellaria chandraae