Genetic differentiation across multiple spatial scales of the Red Sea of the corals Stylophora pistillata and Pocillopora verrucosa

  • Alison Monroe

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Observing populations at different spatial scales gives greater insight into the specific processes driving genetic differentiation and population structure. Here we determined population connectivity across multiple spatial scales in the Red Sea to determine the population structures of two reef building corals Stylophora pistillata and Pocillopora verrucosa. The Red sea is a 2,250 km long body of water with extremely variable latitudinal environmental gradients. Mitochondrial and microsatellite markers were used to determine distinct lineages and to look for genetic differentiation among sampling sites. No distinctive population structure across the latitudinal gradient was discovered within this study suggesting a phenotypic plasticity of both these species to various environments. Stylophora pistillata displayed a heterogeneous distribution of three distinct genetic populations on both a fine and large scale. Fst, Gst, and Dest were all significant (p-value
Date of AwardDec 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMichael Berumen (Supervisor)


  • Coral
  • Population Genetics
  • Microsatellites
  • Red Sea

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