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Microsatellite analysis of red mullet Mullus barbatus (Perciformes, Mullidae) reveals the isolation of the Adriatic Basin in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Autori: Maggio, T; Lo Brutto, S; Garoia, F; Tinti, F; Arculeo, M
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Microsatellites, Mullus barbatus, Population structuring
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The red mullet Mullus barbatus is commercially one of the most important demersal fish resources in the Mediterranean. Molecular data on its genetic population structure throughout the Mediterranean are reported. Six microsatellite loci displayed a high degree of expected heterozygosity and a high allele number per locus. The Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium test revealed an overall tendency towards heterozygote deficiency, probably caused by the admixture of various demes. Population differentiation was assessed by analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and Bayesian analysis. AMOVA showed that most of the variation was within the population, but the mean value of FST was significant, indicating genetic differentiation among the samples analysed. This differentiation is primarily attributable to the isolation of the Adriatic samples and partly to a weaker substructuring of the populations in the Gulf of Lions, Tyrrhenian Sea, Strait of Sicily, and Ionian Sea. Bayesian analysis also revealed genetic differentiation among the samples analysed, identifying two genetic clusters. The restricted gene flow from and to the Adriatic, also recorded for other fish species, most likely reflects the environmental separation of the Adriatic and suggests that management protocols for the red mullet in the Mediterranean should be revisited.