Extremely low microsatellite diversity but distinct population structure in a long-lived threatened species, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi)

Jane M. Hughes, Daniel J. Schmidt, Joel A. Huey, Kathryn M. Real, Thomas Espinoza, Andrew McDougall, Peter K. Kind, Steven Brooks, David T. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Australian lungfish is a unique living representative of an ancient dipnoan lineage, listed as 'vulnerable' to extinction under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Historical accounts indicate this species occurred naturally in two adjacent river systems in Australia, the Burnett and Mary. Current day populations in other rivers are thought to have arisen by translocation fromthese source populations. Early genetic work detected very little variation and so had limited power to answer questions relevant for management including how genetic variation is partitioned within and among sub-populations. In this study, we use newly developed microsatellitemarkers to examine samples from the Burnett and Mary Rivers, as well as from two populations thought to be of translocated origin, Brisbane and North Pine.We test whether there is significant genetic structure among and within river drainages; assign putatively translocated populations to potential source populations; and estimate effective population sizes. Eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci genotyped in 218 individuals gave an average within-population heterozygosity of 0.39 which is low relative to other threatened taxa and for freshwater fishes in general. Based on FST values (average over loci = 0.11) and STRUCTURE analyses, we identify three distinct populations in the natural range, one in the Burnett and two distinct populations in the Mary. These analyses also support the hypothesis that the Mary River is the likely source of translocated populations in the Brisbane and North Pine rivers, which agrees with historical published records of a translocation event giving rise to these populations. We were unable to obtain bounded estimates of effective population size, as we have too few genotype combinations, although point estimates were low, ranging from 29 - 129.We recommend that, in order to preserve any local adaptation in the three distinct populations that they be managed separately.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0121858
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Extremely low microsatellite diversity but distinct population structure in a long-lived threatened species, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this