Volume 63

Genetic connectivity of Nassau grouper aggregations in the Caribbean Sea.

Jackson, A., B.X. Semmens, R.S. Nemeth, and P.G. Bush
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Date: November, 2010

Pages: 161-163

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Third Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Juan

Country: Puerto Rico


Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) form spatially and temporally predictable spawning aggregations that make them particularly susceptible to overfishing. It is the objective of this study to determine how sustainable aggregation-based fisheries are by determining the extent of genetic connectivity between aggregations. Genomic DNA was extracted from samples collected in aggregations in the Cayman Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands. Three mitochondrial markers (12S, ATP synthase, cytochrome b) were sequenced and 9 polymorphic microsatellite loci were isolated. Statistical analyses were performed on mitochondrial sequences to determine population structure and genetic connectivity. Preliminary results reveal high genetic connectivity and no statistically significant genetic structure at either the aggregation level or regional level between aggregations in the Cayman Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands (fst = 0.01283, p-value = 0.74585). Such results suggest that spawning aggregations do not represent distinct populations.

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