Genetic characterization of brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations from the Southern Balkans using mtDNA sequencing and RFLP analysis
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In the present study, a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay was used to survey variation in a 1450-bp mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) segment which comprises part of the cytochrome oxidase III (COIII) and ATPase subunit VI genes in 8 brown trout (Salmo trutta L) populations from the southern Balkans. In addition, a 300 bp fragment at the 5′ end of the control region was sequenced from representatives of the populations studied providing the opportunity to assign PCR-RFLP haplotypes into major phylogenetic lineages (i.e. Atlantic, Danubian, marmoratus, Adriatic and Mediterranean). The level of polymorphism found in the 1450 bp segment suggests that this PCR-RFLP assay may be useful for future diagnostic analyses of mitochondrial DNA in brown trout populations. A reduced within-population genetic variability but considerable among-population differentiation was observed. The results are in accordance with previous data on phylogeography of Mediterranean brown trout suggesting that mitochondrial DNA haplotypes are distributed in a mosaic pattern as a consequence of a complex evolutionary history. The present study shows that brown trout populations from the Southern Balkans are highly divergent and possess a unique genetic profile that should be taken into account when establishing conservation management programs.
KeywordsSouthern Balkans Salmo trutta L. Mitochondrial DNA PCR-RFLP analysis Control region sequences
We would like to thank the editors and the two anonymous referees for their important corrections and suggestions. We thank Drs JL Garcia-Marin, M. Nikcevic, Y. Leonardos, A. Kokkinakis R. Sandaltzopoulos and many students for their help in collecting the samples. A.P. Apostolidis acknowledges an ESF-Short Visit Grant (Activity Acronym: CONGEN) through which he had the opportunity to grow up fruitful discussions with Prof. V. Loeschcke and his collaborators.
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