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Mol Mar Biol Biotechnol. 1998 Dec;7(4):263-9.

Genetic variation of the european eel (Anguilla anguilla)

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  • 1Molecular Biology Group, International Marine Centre, Localita Sa Mardini, 09072 Torregrande, Oristano, Italy.


The genetic population structure of the European eel Anguilla anguilla L. was investigated by sequencing the mitochondrial D-loop region of 55 eels caught at different European locations. In total, 51 haplotypes were identified. Pairwise genetic distances ranged from 0% to 6.33% with an average value +/- SD of 3.01% +/- 1.18%, indicating little DNA differentiation among the European eel population. None of the node bifurcations of the neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree was strongly supported, suggesting that all European eels derive from a common genetic pool. The same result was obtained by a statistical test that confirmed the absence of geographic subdivision in the genotypes of the European eel population. The reported genetic homogeneity of the European eel is discussed in relation to different hypothetical life history scenarios.

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