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Keywords:

  • freshwater prawn;
  • Macrobrachium rosenbergii;
  • genetic diversity;
  • microsatellite

Abstract

Freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) culture in the Western Hemisphere is primarily, if not entirely, derived from 36 individual prawns originally introduced to Hawaii from Malaysia in 1965 and 1966. Little information is available regarding genetic variation within and among cultured prawn stocks worldwide. The goal of the current study was to characterize genetic diversity in various prawn populations with emphasis on those cultured in North America. Five microsatellite loci were screened to estimate genetic diversity in two wild (Myanmar and India-wild) and seven cultured (Hawaii-1, Hawaii-2, India-cultured, Israel, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas) populations. Average allelic richness ranged from 3.96 (Israel) to 20.45 (Myanmar). Average expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.580 (Israel) to 0.935 (Myanmar). Many of the cultured populations exhibited reduced genetic diversity when compared with the Myanmar and the India-cultured populations. Significant deficiency in heterozygotes was detected in the India-cultured, Mississippi and Kentucky populations (overall Fis estimated of 0.053, 0.067 and 0.108 respectively) reflecting moderate levels of inbreeding. Overall estimate of fixation index (Fst = 0.1569) revealed moderately high levels of differentiation among the populations. Outcome of this study provide a baseline assessment of genetic diversity in some available strains that will be useful for the development of breeding programmes.