Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

John Addis

Second Advisor

Linda Beischel

Third Advisor

Gerald Shields


In order to relate the three known populations of the freshwater sponge, Clypeatula cooperensis, to one another, sponge DNA was subjected to RAPDPCR. DNA was extracted using a Puregene kit from three specimens collected from each population. Following PCR optimization, DNA was amplified using random primers (OPA-10, 11, 12, 13, 18, and 20). Although reproducibility was a problem, preliminary results suggest that variability within populations is as high as variability among populations, raising the possibility that the three populations are genetically identical. This is an unexpected finding because one population is geographically isolated from the other two. If correct, one explanation is that the three populations have only recently become separated.