AEI 6:43-54 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00111

Morphological and molecular differentiation of wild and farmed gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata: implications for management

Tanja Šegvić-Bubić1,*, Igor Talijančić2, Leon Grubišić1, David Izquierdo-Gomez3, Ivan Katavić1

1Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, PO Box 500, Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 63, 21000 Split, Croatia
2University Department of Marine Studies, University of Split, Livanjska 5/III, 21000 Split, Croatia
3Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, PO Box 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A combination of molecular and morphological characteristics was used to investigate populations of wild and farmed gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata from the largest Croatian shellfish production area, Mali Ston Bay. Identification of farmed escapees was performed in the wild in order to evaluate and compare the detection sensitivity of molecular and morphological tools. Using a traditional set of measurements and a truss network system, morphometric trait analysis of gilthead sea bream showed clear body shape differences between individuals from the wild and farmed populations. Microsatellite markers only revealed weak neutral genetic differentiation between farmed and wild samples from Mali Ston Bay (Wright’s FST = 0.019, p > 0.05; Jost’s DEST = 0.022), despite the fact that the farmed gilthead sea bream were of Atlantic origin. Using assignment tests, morphological (16%) and molecular (25%) analysis identified farmed escapees in the samples of wild gilthead sea bream in the vicinity of aquaculture sites. Morphological data showed good potential for distinguishing recent escapees in wild populations, since these characteristics are affected by the environment. This study demonstrates the presence of escapees in the local wild population in this region, and suggests the potential for genetic interaction.


KEY WORDS: Aquaculture · Sparus aurata · Escape · Microsatellite DNA · Morphology


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Cite this article as: Šegvić-Bubić T, Talijančić I, Grubišić L, Izquierdo-Gomez D, Katavić I (2014) Morphological and molecular differentiation of wild and farmed gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata: implications for management. Aquacult Environ Interact 6:43-54. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00111

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