Microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus) population structure in the Mediterranean Sea

Authors

  • JENS CARLSSON,

    Corresponding author
    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Rt. 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062-1346, USA;
      Jens Carlsson, Fax: +1 804 6847157; E-mail: jc@vims.edu
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  • JAN R. McDOWELL,

    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Rt. 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062-1346, USA;
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  • PÍNDARO DÍAZ-JAIMES,

    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Rt. 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062-1346, USA;
    2. Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-305, México D.F. 04510, México;
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  • JEANETTE E. L. CARLSSON,

    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Rt. 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062-1346, USA;
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  • SANDRA B. BOLES,

    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Rt. 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062-1346, USA;
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  • JOHN R. GOLD,

    1. Center for Biosystematics and Biodiversity, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-2258, USA
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  • JOHN E. GRAVES

    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Rt. 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062-1346, USA;
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Jens Carlsson, Fax: +1 804 6847157; E-mail: jc@vims.edu

Abstract

Genetic variation was surveyed at nine microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial control region (868 bp) to test for the presence of genetic stock structure in young-of-the-year Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus) from the Mediterranean Sea. Bluefin tuna were sampled over a period of 5 years from the Balearic and Tyrrhenian seas in the western basin of the Mediterranean Sea, and from the southern Ionian Sea in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Analyses of multilocus microsatellite genotypes and mitochondrial control region sequences revealed no significant heterogeneity among collections taken from the same location in different years; however, significant spatial genetic heterogeneity was observed across all samples for both microsatellite markers and mitochondrial control region sequences (FST = 0.0023, P = 0.038 and ΦST = 0.0233, P = 0.000, respectively). Significant genetic differentiation between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian collections was found for both microsatellite and mitochondrial markers (FST = 0.0087, P = 0.015 and ΦST = 0.0367, P = 0.030, respectively). These results suggest the possibility of a genetically discrete population in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea.

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