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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7638790, 8 pages
Research Article

Resolving the Taxonomic Status of Chamelea gallina and C. striatula (Veneridae, Bivalvia): A Combined Molecular Cytogenetic and Phylogenetic Approach

Departamento Bioquímica, Xenética e Inmunoloxía, Universidade de Vigo, Vigo, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Juan J. Pasantes

Received 31 January 2017; Revised 27 March 2017; Accepted 3 April 2017; Published 7 May 2017

Academic Editor: Daniele Corsaro

Copyright © 2017 Daniel García-Souto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The striped venus clams Chamelea gallina and C. striatula are commercially important bivalves inhabiting European and North African coastal waters. The taxonomic status of these taxa has been the subject of debate for decades. In order to elucidate this issue, we generated 5S and 28S ribosomal RNA and H3 histone gene probes and mapped them by fluorescent in situ hybridization to the chromosomes of morphologically identified striped venus clams, collected from four geographically distant Atlantic and Mediterranean populations. The nucleotide variation at the three DNA markers, that is, the nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), and the large ribosomal subunit rRNA (16S) fragments, was also studied and the resultant phylogenetic trees were evaluated. Striking differences in both the chromosome distribution of these genes and the clustering of the samples on the phylogenetic trees observed provide clear evidence that C. gallina and C. striatula are separated species.