Isolation and characterization of 18 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the critically endangered stellate sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus

  • Klaus Kohlmann
  • Petra Kersten
  • Jörn Geßner
  • Dalia Onără
  • Elena Taflan
  • Radu Suciu
Methods Paper


The stellate sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus, is a critically endangered fish species. Knowledge on its genetic diversity and population structure is urgently needed to enable the identification of management units in order to prevent extinction. Therefore, 18 species-specific, polymorphic microsatellite loci have been isolated using GS-FLX Titanium pyrosequencing, arranged into 6 multiplex PCR sets, and characterized in 52 individuals (20 farmed and 32 wild). The total number of alleles per locus varied between 3 and 36 with an average of 8.44. The wild individuals were more diverse with an average number of 8.17 alleles per locus than the farmed ones with 3.28 alleles per locus. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.050 to 0.950 in the farmed and from 0.094 to 0.969 in the wild individuals. Significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were found at 3 loci of the farmed and 5 loci of the wild individuals. The two sturgeon groups were significantly differentiated (F ST = 0.118). The high sensitivity and discriminatory power of the 18 loci were proven by a very low overall probability of identity for siblings (PIsib = 8.73 × 10−6) and a high accuracy of self-classification (98%). Thus, these newly developed markers represent a valuable genetic toolbox to identify management units for species conservation and sustainable fisheries.


Conservation genetics Fisheries management Microsatellite Multiplex PCR Stellate sturgeon 



We thank Mr. Peter Groß, fish farm “Rhönforelle,” Gersfeld, Germany, for generously providing access to the offspring of the ex situ stocks for sampling. Marian Paraschiv, Ștefan Honț, and Marian Iani of the DDNI Sturgeon Research Group collected most of the tissue samples from the Danube River in Romania.


This project was sponsored by the COFASP (Cooperation in Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Processing) ERA-NET partners, which has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under grant agreement no. 321553. Financial support was provided by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), grant number 2814ERA01G, and the Romanian Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI), contract number 26/2015.

Data availability

DNA sequences of the 18 suitable microsatellite loci were submitted to GenBank (accession numbers KY496652-KY496669).

Supplementary material

10344_2017_1132_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Kohlmann
    • 1
  • Petra Kersten
    • 1
  • Jörn Geßner
    • 1
  • Dalia Onără
    • 2
  • Elena Taflan
    • 2
  • Radu Suciu
    • 2
  1. 1.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Danube Delta National InstituteTulceaRomania

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