MEPS 279:225-235 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps279225

Allozymes and RAPDs detect little genetic population substructuring in the Caribbean stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride

Gerard J. Geertjes1,2, Jeroen Postema1, Albert Kamping2, Wilke van Delden2, John J. Videler1,*, Louis van de Zande2

1Department of Marine Biology, and
2Department of Evolutionary Genetics, University of Groningen, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, PO Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The genetic population structure of the Caribbean stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride was analysed by means of allozyme electrophoresis and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) using blood samples from adult fish that were collected on the reefs of 5 islands (3 sites at Bonaire, 1 each at Curaçao, Jamaica, Tobago and Saba). All allozyme loci showed a single very common allele. Allele frequency differences among the locations were mainly found for rare alleles. Genetic distances among the 7 sample sites ranged from less than 0.0001 to 0.012. The fixation index (FST) for the allozyme loci was 0.0188. Pairwise single enzyme locus FST values were small, but some FST values differed significantly from zero. The allozyme analysis detected significant FST values between Curaçao and the other sample sites. The RAPD data indicated high, but slightly restricted, gene flow among 5 geographic areas. Apparently, dispersal among islands is sufficient to maintain near-homogeneous allele frequencies. We conclude that the local S. viride sub-populations are relatively open and there is a high level of migration among them.


KEY WORDS: Reef fish · Population genetics · Gene flow · Allozymes · RAPD · Dispersal · Sparisoma viride


Full text in pdf format