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A comparison of AFLPs and microsatellites to identify the population structure of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) populations from Hardangervidda, Norway


Jørn Henrik Sønstebø, Fax: 0047 64 96 58 01; E-mail:


A total of 495 fish from 11 Hardangervidda lakes were genotyped in order to compare amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) and microsatellites in terms of their capacity to infer population genetic structure. The 11 microsatellites used in this study gave a greater polymorphism information content and greater gene diversity, with an average of 14.8 alleles per locus, than the six AFLP primer combinations used. However, the AFLPs resulted in 178 polymorphic loci and a 3.1 times larger marker index (effective multiplex ratio multiplied with the gene diversity). Comparable population structuring, for example in terms of distinguishing fish from the different river systems, was obtained with both marker systems. An AFLP and microsatellite multilocus Bayesian assignment test with the structure program divided the fish into six groups largely concurrent with main branches on a population neighbour-joining tree. Yet, the admixture status of individuals is mostly contradictory in the AFLP and the microsatellite analyses. The results are discussed concerning migration between lake populations.

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