Haemoglobin polymorphisms in the echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus

D. W. Cooper, J. L. Vandeberg, M. E. Griffiths, E. Hm Ealey

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12 Scopus citations


Echidnas and platypuses possess two haemoglobins, HbI and HbII. HbI is in the higher concentration. Genetic variation has been found in the electrophoretic mobility of both HbI and HbII in the echidna. HbI polymorphism occurs on the mainland of Australia and HbII polymorphism in Tasmania. Rare variants of HbII occur on the mainland. There are three common HbI variants designated A, B, C, and two common HbII variants, A and B. HbI variants are in the f3I chain and HbII variants are in the f3II chain. The results allow four groups of echidnas to be defined: (1) “Tasmanian”, which has HbIB, HbIIA, and HbIIB; (2) “south-eastern Australia”, i.e. Victoria east of Melbourne and probably part of the south-east of New South Wales, which has HbIB and HbIIA; (3) a “hybrid” group found in western Victoria and in coastal areas of New South Wales north of Sydney, which has HbIA, HbIB, HbIC, and HbIIA; and (4) the remaining areas of the continent sampled which have HbIA, HbIC, and HbIIA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-612
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Developmental Biology


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