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Whole mitogenome sequencing refines population structure of the Critically Endangered sawfish Pristis pristis


Feutry, P and Kyne, PM and Pillans, RD and Chen, X and Marthick, JR and Morgan, DL and Grewe, PM, Whole mitogenome sequencing refines population structure of the Critically Endangered sawfish Pristis pristis, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 533 pp. 237-244. ISSN 0171-8630 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Licenced under the Creative Commons by Attribution Licence (CC-BY)

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps11354


The largetooth sawfish Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758) is a highly threatened euryhaline elasmobranch that in recent times has undergone a significant range contraction. It now only remains in a few areas, with northern Australia being the main stronghold. Previous work using a single mitochondrial gene approach suggested the existence of regional barriers to gene flow in northern Australia. In this study, whole mitochondrial sequences of 92 P. pristis from 7 river drainages across northern Australia were used to refine the population structure. This approach revealed barriers to gene flow at a scale as fine as between adjacent river drainages. Except for those flowing into the Gulf of Carpentaria, all river drainages appeared to host a genetically distinct population. The apparent genetic homogeneity in the Gulf is probably due to freshwater connectivity between river drainages, either during the last glaciation event when the Gulf was a freshwater lake or through contemporary wet season flooding. These results suggest that each river drainage across the speciesí range should be considered a discrete management unit unless there is evidence of freshwater connectivity. More broadly, the improved resolution of population structure obtained with whole mitogenome analysis compared to single mitochondrial gene approaches suggests that female reproductive philopatry may have been overlooked in previous studies of some elasmobranch species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:population genetics, elasmobranch, philopatry, dispersal, control region, D-loop
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Environmental Monitoring
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
UTAS Author:Marthick, JR (Mr James Marthick)
ID Code:102490
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-08-25
Last Modified:2018-03-15
Downloads:234 View Download Statistics

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