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J Genet. 2016 Jun;95(2):369-76.

Microsatellite analysis of the genetic relationships between wild and cultivated giant grouper in the South China Sea.

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1State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Institute of Aquatic Economic Animals and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Aquatic Economic Animals, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, People's Republic of China.


The giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) is a coral fish with high commercial value in Southeast Asia. In the present study, we isolated 11 microsatellite DNA markers, and analysed the genetic diversity and differentiation between cultured stocks and wild populations of the giant grouper originating from the South China Sea. A total of 390 alleles at 11 microsatellite loci were detected in 130 individuals from five different populations. The expected heterozygosity varied from 0.131 to 0.855 with a mean value of 0.623 and the observed heterozygosity varied from 0.145 to 0.869 with a mean value of 0.379. The allelic richness and heterozygosity studies revealed that the genetic diversity of the cultured population was significantly reduced when compared with that of the wild population. The Fis, pairwise Fst values, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), threedimensional factorial correspondence analysis and structure analysis revealed significant population differentiation between the cultured stocks and the wild populations, among the three cultured populations and between the two wild populations. These differences may be caused by random genetic drift, the effects of artificial selection and founder effects. Our results will be useful in the management of cultured stocks and conservation of wild populations of the giant grouper.

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