Conservation Genetics

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 67–76 | Cite as

Isolation-by-time population structure in potamodromous Dourado Salminus brasiliensis in southern Brazil

  • Josiane Ribolli
  • David J. Hoeinghaus
  • Jeff A. Johnson
  • Evoy Zaniboni-Filho
  • Patricia D. de Freitas
  • Pedro M. GalettiJr.
Research Article


Isolation-by-distance is recognized as a useful model for describing the spatial distribution of gene frequencies depending on dispersal characteristics of the species under study. However, some species may have populations that occupy the same geographic distribution during the breeding season yet reproduce at different time periods resulting in isolation-by-time (IBT). IBT may complicate investigations of spatial population structure if samples are obtained from multiple discrete time periods or may remain undiscovered if surveys are conducted with limited temporal scope. IBT has been observed in several studies of anadromous fishes (primarily salmon) as well as a few examples in taxa such as frogs, plants, birds and insects, but has not been rigorously tested in freshwater fishes. In this study, we assessed spatial and temporal genetic variation and tested for IBT in Dourado (Salminus brasiliensis), a large and commercially-important potamodromous fish species found in multiple river basins of South America. Using 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci, we estimated genetic differentiation of 317 adult Dourado collected monthly during the breeding season at three locations along the Uruguay River in southern Brazil. Analyses identified three populations that were clustered in time (i.e. early, middle and late), suggesting an IBT pattern of population structure with no significant spatial structure. Our results contribute to the mounting evidence across a wide range of taxa that suggests IBT may be more common that currently considered, even for species with very high dispersal capabilities such as potamodromous fishes.


Conservation Microsatellites Population genetics Reproductive migration Temporal genetic differentiation 



JR acknowledges financial support provided by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Programa de Doutorado Sanduíche no Exterior (PDSE) (process 1592/81-2). PMGJ thanks Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, grant 2010/52315-7), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Sistema Nacional de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade (SISBIOTA-Brazil, MCTI/CNPq 563299/2010-0). EZF thanks Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, grant 302860/2014-2). We are grateful to Laboratório de Biologia e Cultivo de Peixes de Água Doce (LAPAD) of Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), and David A. Reynalte Tataje and Pedro Iaczinki for help with fish collections. Research was conducted under Animal Care Protocol PP00788.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 743 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (JPEG 97 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josiane Ribolli
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • David J. Hoeinghaus
    • 4
  • Jeff A. Johnson
    • 4
  • Evoy Zaniboni-Filho
    • 2
  • Patricia D. de Freitas
    • 3
  • Pedro M. GalettiJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Recursos NaturaisUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Biologia e Cultivo de Peixes de Água Doce, Departamento de AquiculturaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Biodiversidade Molecular e Conservação, Departamento de Genética e EvoluçãoUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Biological Sciences, Advanced Environmental Research InstituteUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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