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Journal of Applied Genetics 51(1), 2010, pp. 67-72

Genetic differences between wild and hatchery populations of Diplodus sargus and D. vulgaris inferred from RAPD markers: implications for production and restocking programs design

J. C. Pereira, P. G. Lino, A. Leitao, S. Joaquim, R. Chaves, P. Pousao-Ferreira, H. Guedes-Pinto, M. Neves dos Santos

Abstract: Restocking and stock enhancement programs are now recognized as an important tool for the management of fishery resources. It is important, however, to have an adequate knowledge on the genetic population structure of both the released stock and the wild population before carrying out such programs. In this study, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were applied to assess genetic diversity and population structure of wild and hatchery populations of the white seabream Diplodus sargus and the common two-banded seabream D. vulgaris (Sparidae). The estimated values for intrapopulation genetic variation, measured using the percentage of polymorphic loci (%P), Shannon index (H’), and Nei’s gene diversity (h), showed high values for all populations. The percentage of genetic variation within D. sargus and D. vulgaris populations, based on coefficient of gene differentiation, reached 82.5% and 90% of the total genetic variation, respectively. An undeniable decrease in genetic variation was found in both hatchery populations, particularly in D. sargus, compared to the wild ones. However, the high values of variation within all populations and the low levels of genetic variation among populations did not indicate inbreeding or depression effects, thus indicating a fairly proper hatchery management. Nevertheless, the results of this study highlight the importance of monitoring the genetic variation of hatchery populations, particularly those to be used in restocking programs. The creation of a genetic baseline database will contribute to a more efficient conservation management and to the design of genetically sustainable restocking programs.

Key words: Diplodus sargus, Diplodus vulgaris, population genetics, RAPD marker, restocking

Correspondence: A. Leitao, Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biologicos, I.P. / L-IPIMAR, Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, P-8700-305 Olhao, Portugal; e-mail:

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