Species identification and comparative population genetics of four coastal houndsharks based on novel NGS-mined microsatellites
CITATION: Maduna, S. N., et al. 2017. Species identification and comparative population genetics of four coastal houndsharks based on novel NGS-mined microsatellites. Ecology and Evolution,7(5):1462–1486, doi:10.1002/ece3.2770.
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The common smooth-hound (Mustelus mustelus) is the topmost bio-economically and recreationally important shark species in southern Africa, western Africa, and Mediterranean Sea. Here, we used the Illumina HiSeq™ 2000 next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to develop novel microsatellite markers for Mustelus mustelus. Two microsatellite multiplex panels were constructed from 11 polymorphic loci and characterized in two populations of Mustelus mustelus representative of its South African distribution. The markers were then tested for cross-species utility in Galeorhinus galeus, Mustelus palumbes, and Triakis megalopterus, three other demersal coastal sharks also subjected to recreational and/or commercial fishery pressures in South Africa. We assessed genetic diversity (NA, AR, HO, HE, and PIC) and differentiation (FST and Dest) for each species and also examined the potential use of these markers in species assignment. In each of the four species, all 11 microsatellites were variable with up to a mean NA of 8, AR up to 7.5, HE and PIC as high as 0.842. We were able to reject genetic homogeneity for all species investigated here except for T. megalopterus. We found that the panel of the microsatellite markers developed in this study could discriminate between the study species, particularly for those that are morphologically very similar. Our study provides molecular tools to address ecological and evolutionary questions vital to the conservation and management of these locally and globally exploited shark species.