Molecular characterization and phylogeography of Mediterranean picarels (Spicara flexuosa, S. maena and S. smaris) along the coasts of Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean

Asli Şalcioğlu*, Chrysoula Gubili, Grigorios Krey, Serdar Sakinan, Raşi̇t Bi̇lgi̇n

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, molecular taxonomy associated with Spicara flexuosa, Spicara maena, and Spicara smaris was examined with a geographical focus along the coasts of the Turkey and the Mediterranean. In addition, the effects of the Turkish Straits System on the evolutionary history and phylogeography of Spicara flexuosa were investigated. The mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I, cytochrome b, and the nuclear Interphotoreceptor retinoid–binding protein genes were used for these purposes. Our results indicated that the distinction of the three taxa under Spicara is possible with the two different mitochondrial DNA markers. Nuclear DNA analyses indicated that reproductive isolation of the S. maena and S. flexuosa was complete. Demographic analyses support the sudden population growth of S. flexuosa after a potential bottleneck. The result of the dating analyses suggested that the three Spicara species were differentiated during the early or middle Pliocene. An absence of genetic structure between Spicara flexuosa subpopulations from Turkey indicated the connectivity, within sampling locations, suggesting that the Turkish Straits System is a corridor for gene flow for this species. As picarel populations have experienced rapid decline in their distribution areas in recent years, separate population studies are necessary to help make informed conservation and management decisions for S. maena and S. flexuosa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101836
JournalRegional Studies in Marine Science
Volume45
Early online date8 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Molecular taxonomy
  • Phylogeography
  • Sister species
  • Turkish Straits Systems

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