The genetic diversity of the specimens of four natural populations of Arapaima from Araguaia-Tocantins basin was assessed within and among these stocks, using five primers for ISSR. COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) partial sequences confirmed that the specimens belongs to Arapaima gigas. The ISSR provided 168 loci, of which 165 were polymorphic. However, the number of loci for each population and expected heterozygosity values were low. AMOVA showed 52.63% intra-population variation and 47.37% inter-population variation. The F ST was high among all populations (F ST ≥ 0.25), however, the cluster analysis (PCoA) and Bayesian inference showed three major groups: Araguaiana-MT + São Félix do Araguaia-MT, Novo Santo Antônio-MT and Itupiranga-PA. The genetic distance was not correlated with geographical distance. The ISSR marker revealed that the populations of the Araguaia-Tocantins are structured and have a low genetic diversity. These are the first data from a population analysis using molecular markers for A. gigas of Araguaia-Tocantins basins and may be used to define the best management strategies and conservation projects for this species.A diversidade genética dos espécimes de quatro populações naturais de Arapaima coletados na bacia do Araguaia-Tocantins foi avaliada com base em cinco primers para marcadores moleculares ISSR. A sequência parcial do COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) confirmou que os espécimes pertencem à espécie Arapaima gigas. Os ISSR forneceram 168 loci, dos quais 165 polimórficos. No entanto, para cada população, os valores de heterozigosidade esperada foram baixos. A AMOVA mostrou 52,63% de variação intrapopulacional e 47,37% interpopulacional. O F ST foi alto entre todas as populações (F ST ≥ 0,25); entretanto, a análise de agrupamento e a inferência Bayesiana mostraram três grandes grupos: Araguaiana-MT + São Félix do Araguaia-MT, Novo Santo Antônio-MT e Itupiranga-PA. A distância genética não teve correlação com a distância geográfica. Os ISSRs se mostraram eficientes para determinar a diversidade genética para a A. gigas, revelando que as populações da bacia Araguaia-Tocantins estão estruturadas e com baixa diversidade genética. Estes são os primeiros dados de análise populacional utilizando ISSR para A. gigas da bacia Araguaia-Tocantins e poderão ser utilizados para definir as melhores estratégias de manejo e projetos de conservação dessa espécie.
The arapaima, Arapaima gigas, is a fish whose populations are threatened by both overfishing and the ongoing destruction of its natural habitats. In the Amazon basin, varying levels of population structure have been found in A. gigas, although no data are available on the genetic diversity or structure of the populations found in the Araguaia-Tocantins basin, which has a topographic profile, hydrological regime, and history of fishing quite distinct from those of the Amazon. In this context, microsatellite markers were used to assess the genetic diversity and connectivity of five wild A. gigas populations in the Araguaia-Tocantins basin. The results of the analysis indicated low levels of genetic diversity in comparison with other A. gigas populations, studied in the Amazon basin. The AMOVA revealed that the Arapaima populations of the Araguaia-Tocantins basin are structured significantly. No correlation was found between pairwise FST values and the geographical distance among populations. The low level of genetic variability and the evidence of restricted gene flow may both be accounted for by overfishing, as well as the other human impacts that these populations have been exposed to over the years. The genetic fragility of these populations demands attention, given that future environmental changes (natural or otherwise) may further reduce these indices and eventually endanger these populations. The results of this study emphasize the need to take the genetic differences among the study populations into account when planning management measures and conservation strategies for the arapaima stocks of the Araguaia-Tocantins basin.
Cytogenetic markers were used to compare the karyotypes of an isolated population of Hoplias malabaricus with others previously described. The results revealed peculiar characteristics that indicate a new independent evolutionary unit within the H. malabaricus complex.
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