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Juxtaposed microsatellite systems as diagnostic markers for admixture: an empirical evaluation with brown trout (Salmo trutta) as model organism


Arnaud Estoup.¶Present address: Department of zoology, University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia. Fax: 61 7-33 65 1655;


A juxtaposed microsatellite system (JMS) is composed of two microsatellite repeat arrays separated by a sequence of less than 200 bp and more than 20 bp. This paper presents the first empirical evaluation of JMSs for the study of genetic admixture induced by man, with brown trout (Salmo trutta) as model organism. Two distinct admixture situations were studied: native populations from streams of the Atlantic basin and of the Mediterranean basin, respectively, all stocked with domestic strains originating from the Atlantic basin. For these two situations, we first evaluated by simulation the ability of JMSs to differentiate between alien alleles and naturally shared homoplasious or ancestral alleles, and thus to behave as diagnostic markers for admixture. Simulations indicated that JMSs are expected to be reliable diagnostic markers in most divergent (i.e. Mediterranean) populations and nonreliable diagnostic markers in most closely related (i.e. Atlantic) populations. Three JMSs were genotyped in domestic strains as well as in nonstocked and stocked populations of brown trout sampled in different rivers of the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins. The observed distributions of JMS haplotypes were consistent with simulation predictions confirming that JMSs were reliable diagnostic markers only over a given proportion of the species range, i.e. in substantially divergent populations. JMSs also reinforced the diagnostic character of three microsatellite sites for the studied Mediterranean populations. This last result is consistent with our simulation results which showed that, although much less frequently than at JMSs, diagnostic markers are likely to be found at single site microsatellites provided that the native Mediterranean population has a sufficiently small effective population size. For each population of the Mediterranean basin admixture coefficients did not differ significantly across JMSs and mean admixture coefficients sometimes differ among populations. The interpretation of the origin of JMS haplotypes based on the allele length variants was supported by nucleotide sequence analysis.