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High gene flow promotes the genetic homogeneity of the fish goby Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Risso, 1810) from Mar Menor coastal lagoon and adjacent marine waters (Spain)


Carlos Vergara-Chen, Departamento de Ecología e Hidrología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain.


The extreme environmental variability of coastal lagoons suggests that physical and ecological factors could contribute to the genetic divergence among populations occurring in lagoon and open-coast environments. In this study we analysed the genetic variability of lagoon and marine samples of the sand goby, Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Risso, 1810) (Pisces: Gobiidae), on the SW Spain coast. A fragment of mitochondrial DNA control region (570 bp) was sequenced for 196 individuals collected in five localities: Lo Pagan, Los Urrutias and Playa Honda (Mar Menor coastal lagoon), and Veneziola and Mazarrón (Mediterranean Sea). The total haplotype diversity was h = 0.9424 ± 0.0229, and the total nucleotide diversity was π = 0.0108 ± 0.0058. Among-sample genetic differentiation was not significant and small-scale patterns in the distribution of haplotypes were not apparent. Gene flow and dispersal-related life history traits may account for low genetic structure at a small spatial scale. The high genetic diversity found in P. marmoratus increases its potential to adapt to changing conditions of the Mar Menor coastal lagoon.