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Keywords:

  • Artemia franciscana;
  • Artemia parthenogenetica;
  • hypersaline ecosystem invasions;
  • population assignment analysis;
  • population genetics

Abstract

The brine shrimp Artemia is a complex genus containing sexual species and parthenogenetic lineages. Artemia franciscana is native to America and its cysts (diapausing eggs) are used worldwide as a food source in aquaculture. As a consequence, this anostracan has become an invasive species in many hypersaline aquatic ecosystems of other continents. Parthenogenetic Artemia lineages occur only in the Old World. Ten and five microsatellite markers were developed to characterize two populations for A. franciscana and two populations for diploid parthenogenetic Artemia, respectively. For A. franciscana the number of alleles ranged from 11 to 58 per locus, while for parthenogens the number of alleles ranged from three to 10. The levels of heterozygosity in A. franciscana and in parthenogens ranged from 0.115 to 0.976 and from 0.000 to 0.971, respectively. These microsatellite loci showed a high population assignment power, which will be useful for future studies of population genetics and invasive processes in Artemia.