Browsing by Subject "MICROSATELLITE LOCI"

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  • Hakala, Sanja Maria; Seppä, Perttu; Heikkilä, Maria; Punttila, Pekka; Sorvari, Jouni; Helanterä, Heikki (2018)
    Coptoformica Muller, 1923 is a subgenus of Formica Linnaeus, 1758 that consists of c. a dozen species of ants that typically inhabit open grassy habitats and build small nest mounds. The most recent addition to the group is Formica fennica Seifert, 2000. The description was based on morphological characters, but the species status has not been confirmed by molecular methods. In this study, we use thirteen DNA microsatellite markers and a partial mitochondrial COI gene sequence to assess the species status of F. fennica, by comparing the genetic variation among samples identified as F. fennica and six other boreal Formica (Coptoformica) species. Most of the species studied form separate, discontinuous clusters in phylogenetic and spatial analyses with only little intraspecific genetic variation. However, both nuclear and mitochondrial markers fail to separate the species pair F. exsecta Nylander, 1846 and F. fennica despite established morphological differences. The genetic variation within the F. exsecta/fennica group is extensive, but reflects spatial rather than morphological differences. Finnish F. fennica populations studied so far should not be considered a separate species, but merely a morph of F. exsecta.
  • Chertov, Nikita; Vasilyeva, Yulia; Zhulanov, Andrei; Nechaeva, Yu; Boronnikova, Svetlana; Kalendar, Ruslan (2021)
    The Ural Mountains and the West Eurasian Taiga forests are one of the most important centers of genetic diversity for Larix sibirica Ledeb. Forest fragmentation negatively impacts forest ecosystems, especially due to the impact of their intensive use on the effects of climate change. For the preservation and rational use of forest genetic resources, it is necessary to carefully investigate the genetic diversity of the main forest-forming plant species. The Larix genus species are among the most widespread woody plants in the world. The Siberian larch (Larix sibirica, Pinaceae) is found in the forest, forest-tundra, tundra (Southern part), and forest-steppe zones of the North, Northeast, and partly East of the European part of Russia and in Western and Eastern Siberia; in the Urals, the Siberian larch is distributed fragmentarily. In this study, eight pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers were used to analyse the genetic diversity and population structure of 15 Siberian larch populations in the Urals. Natural populations in the Urals exhibit indicators of genetic diversity comparable to those of Siberia populations (expected heterozygosity, He = 0.623; expected number of alleles, Ne = 4017; observed heterozygosity, Ho = 0.461). Genetic structure analysis revealed that the examined populations are relatively highly differentiated (Fst = 0.089). Using various algorithms for determining the spatial genetic structure, the examined populations formed three groups according to geographical location. The data obtained are required for the development of species conservation and restoration programs, which are especially important in the Middle Urals, which is the region with strong forest fragmentation.
  • Shikano, Takahito; Järvinen, Antero; Marjamaki, Paula; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Merilä, Juha (2015)
    Variation in presumably neutral genetic markers can inform us about evolvability, historical effective population sizes and phylogeographic history of contemporary populations. We studied genetic variability in 15 microsatellite loci in six native landlocked Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) populations in northern Fennoscandia, where this species is considered near threatened. We discovered that all populations were genetically highly (mean F-ST approximate to 0.26) differentiated and isolated from each other. Evidence was found for historical, but not for recent population size bottlenecks. Estimates of contemporary effective population size (N-e) ranged from seven to 228 and were significantly correlated with those of historical N-e but not with lake size. A census size (N-C) was estimated to be approximately 300 individuals in a pond (0.14 ha), which exhibited the smallest N-e (i.e. N-e/N-C = 0.02). Genetic variability in this pond and a connected lake is severely reduced, and both genetic and empirical estimates of migration rates indicate a lack of gene flow between them. Hence, albeit currently thriving, some northern Fennoscandian populations appear to be vulnerable to further loss of genetic variability and are likely to have limited capacity to adapt if selection pressures change.
  • Fountain, Toby; Duvaux, Ludovic; Horsburgh, Gavin; Reinhardt, Klaus; Butlin, Roger K. (2014)
  • Wolf, Jana I.; Punttila, Pekka; Seppä, Perttu (2018)
    1. Size polymorphism is often connected to alternative life-history traits, which may eventually lead to distinct size classes. In the ant Myrmica ruginodis, larger macrogyne and smaller microgyne queen morphs have been suggested to follow different reproductive strategies, which has presumably resulted in several differences in their key life-history traits. 2. In this study, we examine the association of queen-size morphs with colony queen number (monogyny vs. polygyny), dispersal and queen recruitment patterns, as well as habitat associations of the queen morphs. We do this by sampling established queens from a large number of excavated nests from several populations, estimating genetic relatedness among coexisting queens and pitfall trapping free-ranging wingless queens. 3. Our results show that associations of queen morphs with colony queen number and nest-founding strategy holds only partly. The morph frequencies vary widely across populations from practically pure macrogyne to more than 50% microgyne, but the expected association of macrogyne occurrence with monogyny and microgyne with polygyny is not universal. Dispersal and queen recruitment patterns also show that although most macrogynes participate in nuptial flights and most microgynes are recruited back to their natal nests, a fraction of both morphs use the alternative strategy. 4. The polygynous microgyne morph has been suggested to specialize in stable habitats, but our results from Finnish mesic heath forests do not support this. This study shows that factors other than just queen size also influence life-history trait variation and reproductive strategies in ants.
  • Gilbey, John; Utne, Kjell Rong; Wennevik, Vidar; Beck, Alexander Christian; Kausrud, Kyrre; Hindar, Kjetil; Garcia de Leaniz, Carlos; Cherbonnel, Corrine; Coughlan, Jamie; Cross, Tom F.; Dillane, Eileen; Ensing, Dennis; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva; Hole, Lars R.; Holm, Marianne; Holst, Jens Christian; Jacobsen, Jan Arge; Jensen, Arne J.; Karlsson, Sten; Maoileidigh, Niall O.; Mork, Kjell Arne; Nielsen, Einar Eg; Nottestad, Leif; Primmer, Craig R.; Prodohl, Paulo; Prusov, Sergey; Stevens, Jamie R.; Thomas, Katie; Whelan, Ken; McGinnity, Philip; Verspoor, Eric (2021)
    The survival of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), an increasingly rare anadromous species, has declined dramatically during its marine phase, with disproportionate impacts on the poorly understood early post-smolt period. Logistical constraints on collecting oceanic data to inform this issue pose a formidable obstacle. To advance understanding of post-smolt distributional ecology in the North-east Atlantic, a comprehensive analysis of existing information was undertaken. Data were synthesized from 385 marine cruises, 10,202 individual trawls, and 9,269 captured post-smolts, spanning three decades and similar to 4.75 million km(2) of ocean, with 3,423 individuals genetically assigned to regional phylogeographic origin. The findings confirm major migrational post-smolt aggregations on the continental shelf-edge off Ireland, Scotland and Norway, and an important marine foraging area in the Norwegian Sea. Genetic analysis shows that aggregational stock composition does not simply reflect distance to natal rivers, with northern phylogeographic stock groups significantly under-represented in sampled high-seas aggregations. It identifies a key foraging habitat for southern European post-smolts located in international waters immediately west of the Voring Plateau escarpment, potentially exposing them to a high by-catch mortality from extra-territorial pelagic fisheries. Evidence of the differential distribution of regional stocks points to fundamental differences in their migration behaviours and may lead to inter-stock variation in responses to environmental change and marine survival. The study shows that understanding of post-smolt marine ecology, as regards to stock-specific variations in habitat utilization, biological performance and exposure to mortality factors, can be significantly advanced by data integration across studies and exploiting genetic approaches.
  • Johansson, Helena; Seppä, Perttu Vilho; Helanterä, Heikki Oskari; Trontti, Niilo Kalevi; Sundström, Liselotte (2018)
    Dispersal is a fundamental trait of a species' biology. High dispersal results in weakly structured or even panmictic populations over large areas, whereas weak dispersal enables population differentiation and strong spatial structuring. We report on the genetic population structure in the polygyne ant Formica fusca and the relative contribution of the dispersing males and females to this. We sampled 12 localities across a similar to 35 km(2) study area in Finland and generated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype data and microsatellite data. First, we assessed queen dispersal by estimating population differentiation from mtDNA haplotype data. Second, we analysed nuclear DNA microsatellite data to determine overall population genetic substructure in the study area with principal components analysis, Bayesian clustering, hierarchical F statistics and testing for evidence of isolation-by-distance. Third, we directly compared genetic differentiation estimates from maternally inherited mtDNA and bi-parentally inherited DNA microsatellites to test for sex-bias in dispersal. Our results showed no significant spatial structure or isolation by distance in neither mtDNA nor DNA microsatellite data, suggesting high dispersal of both sexes across the study area. However, mitochondrial differentiation was weaker (Fst-mt = 0.0047) than nuclear differentiation (Fst-nuc = 0.027), which translates into a sixfold larger female migration rate compared to that of males. We conclude that the weak population substructure reflects high dispersal in both sexes, and it is consistent with F. fusca as a pioneer species exploiting unstable habitats in successional boreal forests.