Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract Full Text

Genetic characterization of introduced Tunisian and French populations of pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) by species-specific microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes.


The pike-perch is among the economically most valuable fish species for both commercial and recreational fishermen. This could be seen as the main reason for its introductions into Western Europe (including France) and Tunisia. Knowledge of the genetic structure of the introduced populations is a prerequisite for their successful long-term management. The present study focuses on the genetic characterization of introduced Tunisian and French pike-perch populations using species-specific microsatellite loci and mitochondrial cytochrome b haplotypes in order to better understand their genetic relationships and to try to trace the origin of the Tunisian populations. Lowered levels of genetic diversity have been observed in the two introduced Tunisian populations and a farmed Czech strain compared to a native wild German population. The reduction of microsatellite genetic variability of these three populations was supported by a genetic bottleneck signature. In contrast, the French populations showed high genetic diversity, probably due to multiple introductions and admixture of genetically differing sources. A high genetic differentiation level (significant FST values) between most pike-perch populations and a high average accuracy of self-assignments of individuals to populations of their origin were observed, probably resulting from genetic drift. The average pairwise relatedness values and results of the structure analysis highlighted a closer relationship between Tunisian and French populations than between Tunisian and German ones. Indeed, the two Tunisian populations clustered together with the French populations on a Neighbour-Joining tree based on DA genetic distances. This was also sustained by the distribution of cytochrome b haplotypes A and B in the studied populations. The present results demonstrate that, despite the genetic differences, the studied populations cluster according to their phylogeographic origin. The Tunisian populations seem to be introduced from a French hatchery where the brood stock had the haplotype B of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene.