KARYOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF THREE POPULATIONS OF AURELIA AURITA (WHITE, BLACK AND JAPANESE SEAS.

A. V. Kotova, T. G. Shaposhnikova, O. I. Podgornaya, L. S. Adonin

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Abstract

Today it is believed that the genus Aurelia comprises three species: A. limbata, A. labiata and A. aurita. Perhaps due to its ubiquity, A. aurita has become a popular research organism for studies as diverse as protein chemistry, development, ecology, ethology, and hydrodynamics (Arai, 1997). A. aurita also is economically important because worldwide it preys on or competes with larvae of commercial fisheries and because swarms of medusae may impede trawling or block power-plant intakes (Möller, 1980). The systematics of A. aurita therefore is of considerable scientific, economic, and general interest. Aurelia has a typical bipartite scyphozoan life history in which benthic scyphopolyps asexually strobilate ephyrae that grow into sexual medusae, the females of which brood larvae that settle into the shallow coastal benthos within a few days of being released. Of these life stages, the medusa probably is the principal dispersal phase because only the medusa is both long-lived (several months to more than one y

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