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Population structure and connectivity in the Mediterranean sponge Ircinia fasciculata are affected by mass mortalities and hybridization

AuthorsRiesgo Gil, Ana ; Pérez-Portela, R. CSIC ORCID; Pita, L.; Blasco, Gema; Erwin, Patrick M.; López-Legentil, S.
Issue Date2016
CitationHeredity 117 : 427-439 (2016)
AbstractRecent episodes of mass mortalities in the Mediterranean Sea have been reported for the closely related marine sponges Ircinia fasciculata and Ircinia variabilis that live in sympatry. In this context, the assessment of the genetic diversity, bottlenecks and connectivity of these sponges has become urgent in order to evaluate the potential effects of mass mortalities on their latitudinal range. Our study aims to establish (1) the genetic structure, connectivity and signs of bottlenecks across the populations of I. fasciculata and (2) the hybridization levels between I. fasciculata and I. variabilis. To accomplish the first objective, 194 individuals of I. fasciculata from 12 locations across the Mediterranean were genotyped at 14 microsatellite loci. For the second objective, mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences of 16 individuals from both species were analyzed along with genotypes at 12 microsatellite loci of 40 individuals coexisting in 3 Mediterranean populations. We detected strong genetic structure along the Mediterranean for I. fasciculata, with high levels of inbreeding in all locations and bottleneck signs in most locations. Oceanographic barriers like the Almeria-Oran front, North-Balearic front and the Ligurian-Thyrrenian barrier seem to be impeding gene flow for I. fasciculata, adding population divergence to the pattern of isolation by distance derived from the low dispersal abilities of sponge larvae. Hybridization between both species occurred in some populations that might be increasing genetic diversity and somewhat palliating the genetic loss caused by population decimation in I. fasciculata.
DescriptionEste artículo contiene 13 páginas, 6 figuras, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2016.41
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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