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Effects of a founder event and supplementary introductions on genetic variation in a captive breeding population of the endangered Spanish killifish

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Twelve polymorphic allozyme loci were employed to assess the genetic change in a captive breeding population of the endangered killifish Aphanius baeticus in the Doñana National Park, south‐western Spain. The initial founder event did not significantly reduce the allelic richness or the expected heterozygosity. No genetic bottleneck signature was detected by tests for deviation from mutation‐drift equilibrium. The FST between the wild source and captive population, however, was relatively high (0·053 or 0·122 when excluding or including the locus IDHP‐1* respectively), after just two to three generations in captivity. Two generations after the incorporation of 68 new wild specimens (greater than five generations after founding) decreased the genetic differences and the FST(0·041 excluding IDHP‐1*). The restoration efforts appeared to be helpful and the study of 12 polymorphic loci and a sensitive parameter such as FST were useful for monitoring genetic changes in captivity. Nonetheless, future monitoring should include additional highly polymorphic loci (microsatellites) to achieve higher power to detect genetic change. Such restoration and monitoring efforts should help to avoid rapid inbreeding, adaptation to captivity, and to maintain the long‐term evolutionary potential in small isolated populations.
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Keywords: FST; bottleneck; conservation; endemism; gene flow restoration; genetic rescue

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Dpto. Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28 006 Madrid, Spain and 2: Laboratoire de Biologie des Populations d’Altitude, Université Joseph Fourier, CNRS, F-38 041 Grenoble, Cedex 9, France.

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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