, Volume 740, Issue 1, pp 167–176 | Cite as

Phylogenetic and population genetic analysis of Thymallus thymallus (Actinopterygii, Salmonidae) from the middle Volga and upper Ural drainages

  • Saša Marić
  • Igor V. Askeyev
  • Oleg V. Askeyev
  • Sergey P. Monakhov
  • Jernej Bravničar
  • Aleš Snoj
Primary Research Paper


The evolutionary relationship of grayling populations from the Kama and upper Ural drainage was studied, and the genetic diversity of the local populations was assessed. The complete mitochondrial DNA control region was sequenced and 12 microsatellite loci genotyped. Five previously undescribed closely related haplotypes (Caspian clade) were detected. The Caspian and previously reported Scandinavian clade formed a Caspio–Scandinavian group that was found to be the closest relative to the Balkan clade of European grayling. Based upon the molecular results, paleogeological information and a molecular clock of 0.5% change per million years, it appears the Caspio–Scandinavian group split some 0.6 million years ago (95% HPD = 0.33–0.92 mya), while the Balkan clade separated about 1 mya, in the Pleistocene. The sister relationship between Caspian and Scandinavian haplotypes implies that, at some time over that period, the Caspian basin might have been a corridor for dispersal connecting eastern and northern Europe. Microsatellite analysis revealed relatively large inter-population genetic differentiation among the Caspian sample set, pointing to genetically distinct populations that are deserving of special attention in terms of management and conservation.


European grayling Caspian basin Phylogeography mtDNA Microsatellites Conservation 



This study was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Grant No. 173045). The authors wish to express their gratitude to the administration of Bashkirian and Shulgan-Tash nature reserves and to the Director of the Institute for Problems of Ecology and Mineral Wealth, Mr. Shagidullin R.R., for their irrepressible support during the field surveys. Many thanks go to I. F. Wilson for English revision of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10750_2014_1951_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (3.7 mb)
A detailed map of the grayling extension along the whole river network shown in Fig. 1 (solid blue lines for known extension, dotted red line for presumed extension). Codes of sample site locations are reported in Table 1. (JPEG 3766 kb)
10750_2014_1951_MOESM2_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Estimated K values (number of genetic clusters) from STRUCTURE runs using the ΔK method. L(K), posterior probability of K; stdev, standard deviation of L(K) from seven independent runs; ΔK, an ad hoc quantity, predictor of the real number of clusters (Evanno et al., 2004), best ΔK is colored. (DOC 32 kb)
10750_2014_1951_MOESM3_ESM.doc (33 kb)
A synthesis of geographical plio-pleistocene history literature in Russian (references in bold are in Cyrillic). (DOC 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saša Marić
    • 1
  • Igor V. Askeyev
    • 2
  • Oleg V. Askeyev
    • 2
  • Sergey P. Monakhov
    • 2
  • Jernej Bravničar
    • 3
  • Aleš Snoj
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Zoology, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute for Problems of Ecology and Mineral WealthTatarstan Academy of SciencesKazanRussian Federation
  3. 3.Department of Animal Science, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaDomžaleSlovenia

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