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Low Genetic Differentiation across Three Major Ocean Populations of the Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus
 

Summary: Low Genetic Differentiation across Three Major Ocean
Populations of the Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus
Jennifer V. Schmidt1,2
*, Claudia L. Schmidt1
, Fusun Ozer1
, Robin E. Ernst2
, Kevin A. Feldheim3
,
Mary V. Ashley1
, Marie Levine2
1 The Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, 2 The Shark Research Institute, Princeton, New Jersey,
United States of America, 3 The Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution, The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Abstract
Background: Whale sharks are a declining species for which little biological data is available. While these animals are
protected in many parts of their range, they are fished legally and illegally in some countries. Baseline biological and
ecological data are needed to allow the formulation of an effective conservation plan for whale sharks. It is not known, for
example, whether the whale shark is represented by a single worldwide panmictic population or by numerous,
reproductively isolated populations. Genetic analysis of population structure is one essential component of the baseline
data required for whale shark conservation.
Methodology/Principal Findings: We have identified 8 polymorphic microsatellites in the whale shark and used these

  

Source: Ashley, Mary V. - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology