Reduced genetic variation and strong genetic population structure in the freshwater killifish Valencia letourneuxi (Valenciidae) based on nuclear and mitochondrial markers.

TitleReduced genetic variation and strong genetic population structure in the freshwater killifish Valencia letourneuxi (Valenciidae) based on nuclear and mitochondrial markers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsVogiatzi, E, Kalogianni E, Zimmerman B, Giakoumi S, Barbieri R, Paschou P, Magoulas A, Tsaparis D, Poulakakis N, Tsigenopoulos CS
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume111
Pages334-349
Keywordsbiogeography, genetic structure, microsatellites, mtDNA, W. Greece
Abstract

The genetic variation of the critically endangered Corfu killifish (Valencia letourneuxi), an endemic freshwater fish species of the Western Balkans, was assessed for nine populations sampled in eight water systems in Western continental Greece, the Peloponnese and the Ionian Island of Corfu, using mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. The analyses were based on data from three mtDNA regions (D-loop, COI and 16S rRNA sequences) and fourteen microsatellite loci. Samples from the congeneric species Valencia hispanica and the phylogenetically close related species Aphanius fasciatus were also used in the study as outgroup. Both the mitochondrial and the microsatellite analyses revealed three distinct population groupings associated with the geographic distribution of the populations: one southern occupying rivers draining to the Patraikos Gulf, the second one including the populations flowing into the Amvrakikos Gulf and the third one more northern including the other populations from rivers in Corfu Island and Epirus flowing into the Ionian Sea. Within these groupings there is limited genetic differentiation between populations; in addition, there is reduced intrapopulation genetic variation, evidenced by low heterozygosity values, number of alleles and haplotype diversity. In terms of taxonomic implications and appropriate management actions for conservation, our data suggests that the major population groups should be regarded at least as three distinct conservation units (CUs), with translocation and restocking actions to take place only within the geographic range of the CU concerned.

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