Microsatellite variation and genetic structuring in Mugil liza (Teleostei: Mugilidae) populations from Argentina and Brazil

Mai, Ana Cecilia Giacometti; Miño, Carolina Isabel; Marins, Luis Fernando Fernandes; Monteiro Neto, Cassiano; Miranda, Laura Villwock de; Schwingel, Paulo Ricardo; Lemos, Valéria Marques; González-Castro, Mariano; Castello, Jorge Pablo; Vieira Sobrinho, João Paes


The mullet Mugil liza is distributed along the Atlantic coast of South America, from Argentina to Venezuela, and it is heavily exploited in Brazil. We assessed patterns of distribution of neutral nuclear genetic variation in 250 samples from the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro, S~ao Paulo, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul (latitudinal range of 23e31 S) and from Buenos Aires Province in Argentina (36 S). Nine microsatellite loci revealed 131 total alleles, 3e23 alleles per locus, He: 0.69 and Ho: 0.67. Significant genetic differentiation was observed between Rio de Janeiro samples (23 S) and those from all other locations, as indicated by FST, hierarchical analyses of genetic structure, Bayesian cluster analyses and assignment tests. The presence of two different demographic clusters better explains the allelic diversity observed in mullets from the southernmost portion of the Atlantic coast of Brazil and from Argentina. This may be taken into account when designing fisheries management plans involving Brazilian, Uruguayan and Argentinean M. liza populations.

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