Characterising genetic diversity and effective population size in one reservoir and two riverine populations of the threatened Macquarie perch
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Nine polymorphic microsatellite loci have been used to infer population genetic diversity and structure of the threatened Australian freshwater fish, Macquarie perch, across three tributaries of the Murrumbidgee River in south-eastern Australia. This investigation has revealed a high level of divergence among all three populations, along with contrasting patterns of genetic diversity. The Cotter Reservoir, which is a stronghold population for the species, has typically higher diversity and effective population size than nearby riverine populations. This suggests that the reservoir population is unlikely to have undergone a genetic bottleneck during and following dam construction. Genetic diversity estimates were comparable with one riverine site but were significantly higher than a population sampled from the Queanbeyan River. This comparison revealed significantly less heterozygotes in the Queanbeyan River and lower estimates of effective population size. Options and considerations for stock replenishment of this population are discussed.
KeywordsMacquaria australasica Endangered Translocation
This work was carried out under funding supplied to Mark Lintermans by the Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, and the Natural Heritage Trust. The research was carried out under a contract with Adelaide Research and Innovation Pty Ltd. Brendan Ebner and Mark Lintermans collected Cotter Reservoir fish samples. Fish samples for Kissops Flat were collected by Mark Lintermans under licence F88/1416 from NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) and approval from the NSW Agriculture Director-General’s Animal Care and Ethics Committee. Laboratory work was undertaken at the South Australian Regional Facility for Molecular Evolution & Ecology at The University of Adelaide. Dr Michael Gardner, Kathy Saint and Leanne Wheaton provided technical support throughout the laboratory phase of this project. Administrative support was provided by the University of Adelaide and ACT Parks, Conservation and Lands, and Lachlan Farrington was kindly hosted by Professor Andy Austin and his research group.
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