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Evidence for extensive population structure in the white-spotted eagle ray within the Indo-Pacific inferred from mitochondrial gene sequences

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Schluessel, V., Broderick, D., Collin, S.P. and Ovenden, J.R. (2010) Evidence for extensive population structure in the white-spotted eagle ray within the Indo-Pacific inferred from mitochondrial gene sequences. Journal of Zoology, 281 (1). pp. 46-55.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00680.x

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/


The white-spotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari is a species complex that occurs circumglobally throughout warm-temperate waters. Aetobatus narinari is semi-pelagic and large (up to 300 cm disc width), suggesting high dispersal capabilities and gene flow on a wide spatial scale. Sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome b (cytb) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4), were used to determine the genetic variability within and among 18 sampling locations in the central Indo-Pacific biogeographical region. Populations in the Indo-Pacific were highly genetically structured with c. 70% of the total genetic variation found among three geographical regions (East China Sea, Southeast Asia and Australia). FST was 0.64 for cytb and 0.53 for ND4, with φST values being even larger, that is, 0.78 for cytb and 0.65 for ND4. This high-level genetic partitioning provides strong evidence against extensive gene flow in A. narinari. The degree of genetic population structuring in the Indo-Pacific was similar to that found on a global scale. Global FST was 0.63 for cytb and 0.57 for ND4, and global φST values were 0.94 for cytb and 0.82 for ND4. This suggests that the A. narinari complex may be more speciose than the two or three species proposed to date. Further sampling and genetic analyses are likely to uncover the ‘evolutionarily significant’ and ‘management’ units that are critical to determine the susceptibilities of individual populations to regional fishing pressures and to provide advice on management options. Network analyses showed a close genetic relationship between haplotypes from the central Indo-Pacific and South Africa, providing support for a proposed dispersal pathway from the possible centre of origin of the A. narinari species complex in the Indo-Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:DEEDI, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universitt Bonn, University of Queensland, University of Western Australia
Additional Information:© 2010 The Authors. © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.
Keywords:Elasmobranchs; Aetobatus narinari; mtDNA; Indo-Pacific; cytochrome b; NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries
Science > Biology > Genetics
Live Archive:28 Apr 2011 07:21
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:48

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