Isolation and characterization of 29 and 19 microsatellite loci from two deep-sea luminous lanternsharks, Etmopterus spinax and Etmopterus molleri (Squaliformes, Etmopteridae)

  • Nicolas Oury
  • Laurent Duchatelet
  • Jérôme Mallefet
  • Hélène MagalonEmail author
Short Communication


Etmopterus spinax (Linnaeus, 1758) and Etmopterus molleri (Whitley, 1939) are two bioluminescent deep-sea sharks, usually caught in large numbers as bycatch by deep-water fisheries. Yet, no study has ever involved population status of these two species using genetic tools. In order to investigate population genetic structure, diversity and connectivity of these two lanternsharks, 29 and 19 microsatellite loci were isolated from E. spinax DNA library for E. spinax and E. molleri, respectively. These loci were tested on 32 E. spinax individuals from the North Sea and seven E. molleri from the East China Sea. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 13. The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.031 to 0.839 for E. spinax and from 0.000 to 1.000 for E. molleri, while the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.031 to 0.903 and from 0.143 to 0.821, respectively. Almost all loci (24 and 16, respectively) were at Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium for both species and no linkage disequilibrium among loci was detected. These loci represent useful tools to better understand the population structure of these two species. Besides, they could also be suitable for other lanternsharks in general, as these latter remain largely understudied, specially in terms of understanding the basic science that will serve into their conservation.


Etmopterus spinax Etmopterus molleri Squaliformes Etmopteridae Microsatellites Deep-sea lanternsharks 



The authors would like to thank T. Sorlie from the Espegrend Marine Biological Station (University of Bergen, Norway) and Pr. H. Glenner from the Marine Biodiversity Research group (University of Bergen, Norway) for the help during E. spinax collection; Dr. S. Keiichi, Deputy Director General of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and the husbandry people from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium for the help provided during E. molleri field sampling. Special thanks to the Plateforme Gentyane (INRA, Clermont-Ferrand, France) for genotyping and technical support. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


This work was supported by a FRIA grant from the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-FNRS, Belgium) to L.D., a FRS-FNRS grant (FRFC 2.4516.01) awarded to the Université catholique de Louvain Marine Biology Laboratory and the Université de Mons Biology of Marine Organisms and Biomimetics Laboratory. N.O. is PhD student under PhD contract from the Doctoral School of Reunion Island University, L.D. is PhD student under a FRIA fellowship, J.M. is a research associate to FRS-FNRS and H.M. is a research associate at Reunion Island University. This paper is a contribution to the Biodiversity Research Center (BDIV) and the Centre Interuniversitaire de Biologie Marine (CIBIM).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Etmopterus spinax individuals were collected in Norway under the experimental fish care permit number 12/14048 obtained at UCLouvain by J.M. Etmopterus molleri individuals were fished and handled according to Churaumi aquarium (Okinawa, Japan) husbandry and veterinary rules for fish experimentations. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 17 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 43 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR ENTROPIE (Université de La Réunion, IRD, CNRS), Faculté des Sciences et TechnologiesUniversité de La RéunionSt DenisFrance
  2. 2.Marine Biology Laboratory, Earth and Life InstituteUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’ExcellenceCorailFrance

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