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Genetic Diversity Levels in Fishery-Exploited Spiny Lobsters of the Genus Palinurus (Decapoda: Achelata)

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Abstract Most fisheries involving spiny lobsters of the genus Palinurus have been overexploited during the last decades, so there is a raising concern about management decisions for these valuable resources. A total of 13 microsatellite DNA loci recently developed in Palinurus elephas were assayed in order to assess genetic diversity levels in every known species of the genus. Microsatellite markers gave amplifications and showed polymorphism in all species, with gene diversity values varying from 0.650 ± 0.077 SD (Palinurus barbarae) to 0.792 ± 0.051 SD (Palinurus elephas). Most importantly, when depth distribution was taken into account, shallower water species consistently showed larger historical effective population sizes than their deeper-water counterparts. This could explain why deeper-water species are more sensitive to overfishing, and would indicate that overexploitation may have a larger impact on their long-term genetic diversity.

Affiliations: 1: (FP, correspondence, Evolutionary Genetics, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), Am Campus 1, A – 3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria; 2: (PA, Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain; 3: (EM, Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC), Carrer d'Accés a la Cala Sant Francesc 14, 17300 Blanes, Spain; 4: (CAM, Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa; 5: (MP, Departament de Genètica, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain


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