Morphometric and Electrophoretic Separation of Four Populations of Archachatina marginata in Nigeria
Awodiran, Michael Olufemi
Department of Zoology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Morphometric analysis of shell variations and hepatopancreas protein electrophoresis of Archachatina marginata in two vegetation zones of rainforest and derived savanna of Nigeria were performed with a view to determining whether the species understudy can be separated into subspecies or not. The snails were sampled from four locations representing two vegetation zones: the rainforest (Ile-Ife, Okitipupa and Calabar) and derived savanna of Nigeria (Lokoja). The shell of each snail was described by six measurements using Vernier calipers immediately they were brought into the laboratory. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Canonical Variates Analysis (CVA) were performed on the morphometric data using PAST software while the protein profile of the four populations was performed by using Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate-Polyacrylamide gel (SDS-PAGE). Both the PCA and CVA produced non-overlapping clusters indicating separation of some samples into distinct sub populations. Height of shell which was the most variable was the most suitable for delimiting the populations. The hepatopancreas protein profile of the four populations of Archachatina marginata does not reveal any significant separation. This study concluded that multivariate morphometric analysis of shell measurements can be useful in separating A. marginata into sub-populations while the protein profile does not separate the populations.