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MEPS 474:243-261 (2013)  -  DOI:

Population genetic structure of Mugil cephalus in the Mediterranean and Black Seas: a single mitochondrial clade and many nuclear barriers

J. D. Durand1,*, H. Blel2, K. N. Shen3,4, E. T. Koutrakis5, B. Guinand6

1Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR 5119 ECOSYM, Université Montpellier II, Place Eugène Bataillon, CC 93, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France
2Unité de Recherche de Génétique: Biodiversité et Valorisation des Bio ressources (UR: 09/30), Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie de Monastir, Université de Monastir, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia
3Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science, and 4Center of Excellence for Marine Bioenvironment and Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan
5Fisheries Research Institute-NAGREF, 640 07 Nea Peramos, 64007 Kavala, Greece
6Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier, Evolution des Poissons, CNRS-UMR 5554, Université Montpellier II, Place Eugène Bataillon, CC 65, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France

ABSTRACT: The population structure and evolutionary history of Mugil cephalus were investigated across 18 sampling sites in the NE Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Seas, using 2 classes of genetic markers: sequence polymorphism of an 857 bp fragment of mitochondrial (mtDNA) cytochrome b, and allele size variation at 7 nuclear loci. The level of nucleotide diversity recovered with the mtDNA marker was very low (~0.6% divergence), indicating the presence of a single clade over the entire area. Mismatch distribution, Bayesian skyline plots and associated statistics revealed a recent demographic crash followed by population expansion, but nuclear data indicated population constancy in the area covered in this study. While a single clade was detected, significant mtDNA genetic differentiation was, however, observed between the samples from the Black Sea and the samples from other (sub-) basins (ΦST = 0.17; p = 0.029). The nuclear loci also revealed significant genetic differentiation and isolation-by-distance in M. cephalus. Patterns of genetic structure were, however, significantly more pronounced with nuclear than with mtDNA markers; the former indicated the presence of 3 (Bayesian clustering) to 6 (Monmonnier’s method) populations. The highest levels of genetic heterogeneity at nuclear markers occurred at the well-known Almeria-Oran Front, but also in the Bosporus Strait. Thus, both sets of markers revealed the importance of this strait as a barrier to gene flow, probably during the Pleistocene. The results also revealed genetic heterogeneity in the eastern Mediterranean basin, and suggested that the population expanded from this sub-basin towards the Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea.

KEY WORDS: Microsatellites · Mitochondrial DNA · Gene flow · Demography · Mediterranean Sea · Mugilidae · Bayesian clustering · Bayesian skyline plot

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Cite this article as: Durand JD, Blel H, Shen KN, Koutrakis ET, Guinand B (2013) Population genetic structure of Mugil cephalus in the Mediterranean and Black Seas: a single mitochondrial clade and many nuclear barriers. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 474:243-261.

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