Phoenix Group

Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics


In New Caledonia Placostylus snails are an important commercial and traditional food source but the genus is declining. Morphological comparisons and mtDNA sequence data have substantially reduced the number of recognized species within Placostylus, which at one stage was in excess of 100 species on New Caledonia alone, and improved our understanding of the distribution of diversity (Neubert et al. 2009; Trewick et al. 2009). However, additional genetic information would aid conservation efforts. Generating multi-locus nuclear makers for population genetic studies of non-model organisms used to be expensive in both time and money, but new sequencing technology now allows us to develop markers and genotype population samples simultaneously. Using a modified genome reduction technique, (double digest RADseq method; Peterson et al. 2012), we have developed a library from multiple populations of Placostylus snails within New Caledonia and New Zealand. With a single lane of high throughput DNA Sequencing we expect to genotype ~10, 000 SNP markers for >200 individual snails. Using these data we have determined fine scale population genetic structure in the Placostylus snails both in New Caledonia and New Zealand, contrast genetic diversity levels between regions, and compare population sizes estimates from direct counts with those from genetic estimates.


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Neubert E, Chérel-Mora C, & Bouchet P. (2009) Polytypy, clines, and fragmentation: the bulimes of New Caledonia revisited (Pulmonata, orthalicoidea, Placostylidae). In P. Grandcolas (Ed.) Zoologia Neocaledonica Volume 7: Biodiversity studies in New Caledonia.(pp. 37-131). Paris: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

Peterson BK, Weber JN, Kay EH, Fisher HS, Hoekstra HE. (2012) Double Digest RADseq: An Inexpensive Method for De Novo SNP Discovery and Genotyping in Model and Non Model Species. PLoS ONE 7, e37135

Trewick SA, Brescia FM, & Jordan CJ. (2009) Diversity and phylogeny of New Caledonian Placostylus land snails: Evidence from mitochondrial DNA. In P. Grandcolas (Ed.) Zoologia Neocaledonica Volume 7: Biodiversity studies in New Caledonia.(pp. 421 - 436). Paris: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle