Geographic hierarchical population genetic structuring in British European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and its implications for conservation

Crotti, M. et al. (2020) Geographic hierarchical population genetic structuring in British European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and its implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics, 21, pp. 927-939. (doi: 10.1007/s10592-020-01298-y)

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The European whitefish Coregonus lavaretus complex represents one of the most diverse radiations within salmonids, with extreme morphological and genetic differentiation across its range. Such variation has led to the assignment of many populations to separate species. In Great Britain, the seven native populations of C. lavaretus (two in Scotland, four in England, one in Wales) were previously classified into three species, and recent taxonomic revision resurrected the previous nomenclature. Here we used a dataset of 15 microsatellites to: (1) investigate the genetic diversity of British populations, (2) assess the level of population structure and the relationships between British populations. Genetic diversity was highest in Welsh (HO = 0.50, AR = 5.29), intermediate in English (HO = 0.41–0.50, AR = 2.83–3.88), and lowest in Scottish populations (HO = 0.28–0.35, AR = 2.56–3.04). Population structure analyses indicated high genetic differentiation (global FST = 0.388) between all populations but for the two Scottish populations (FST = 0.063) and two English populations (FST = 0.038). Principal component analysis and molecular ANOVA revealed separation between Scottish, English, and Welsh populations, with the Scottish populations being the most diverged. We argue that the data presented here are not sufficient to support a separation of the British European whitefish populations into three separate species, but support the delineation of different ESUs for these populations.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors thank the Norwegian Research Council (Grant No. 186320/V40) and UiT for funding. AGR: IND607114348.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Crotti, Mr Marco and Elmer, Professor Kathryn and Bean, Professor Colin and Adams, Professor Colin and Lyle, Mr Alexander and Maitland, Professor Peter
Authors: Crotti, M., Adams, C.E., Etheridge, E.C., Bean, C.W., Gowans, A.R.D., Knudsen, R., Lyle, A.A., Maitland, P.S., Winfield, I.J., Elmer, K.R., and Præbel, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Conservation Genetics
ISSN (Online):1572-9737
Published Online:04 August 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Conservation Genetics 21:927–939
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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