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Genetic population structure of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) off Morocco detected with intron polymorphism (EPIC-PCR)
Atarhouch, T.; Rami, M.; Naciri, M.; Dakkak, A. (2007). Genetic population structure of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) off Morocco detected with intron polymorphism (EPIC-PCR). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150(3): 521-528.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Atarhouch, T.
  • Rami, M.
  • Naciri, M.
  • Dakkak, A.

    The upwelling systems along the coast of Morocco support some of the largest populations of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) in the world. Although these populations provide a base for a substantial fishing industry, virtually nothing is known about the genetic stock structure of this fish. Samples (n = 346), collected from seven sites along the Atlantic coast and in the Alboran Sea, were examined for exon-primed intron-crossing PCR (EPIC-PCR) polymorphism. Two markers, CaM-4 and Ops-1, had 6 and 9 alleles, respectively, after the pooling of gel fragments into 5 bp length classes, Correspondence analysis and the distribution of F st among samples indicated that Moroccan populations were divided into two groups with F st = 0.034 (P < 0.05) across the Gibraltar Strait. Populations along the Atlantic coast of Morocco comprise one genetic unit, except for a weak genetic boundary south of Cape Ghir and the peculiar behavior of the Safi sample would indicate a genetic drift. Complex ocean hydrodynamics around Gibraltar Strait and across Cape Ghir, likely, contributes to these genetic isolations. These results point out the usefulness of population genetic studies in stock management for sardine populations that may be particularly vulnerable to overexploitation especially during upwelling intensity shifts.

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