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Genetic homogeneity of the critically endangered fan mussel, Pinna nobilis, throughout lagoons of the Gulf of Lion (North-Western Mediterranean Sea)

Abstract : The fan mussel, Pinna nobilis , endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, is a critically endangered species facing mass mortality events in almost all of its populations, following the introduction of the parasite Haplosporidium pinnae . Such a unique pandemic in a marine organism, which spreads rapidly and with mortality rates reaching up to 100%, could lead to the potential extinction of the species. Only few regions, involving lagoon habitats, remain healthy throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea. This study describes the genetic structure of P. nobilis across the Gulf of Lion, including confined locations such as lagoons and ports. A total of 960 samples were collected among 16 sites distributed at 8 localities, and then genotyped using 22 microsatellite markers. Genetic diversity was high in all sites with mean allele numbers ranging between 10 and 14.6 and with observed heterozygosities ( Ho ) between 0.679 and 0.704. No genetic differentiation could be identified ( F ST ranging from 0.0018 to 0.0159) and the percentages of related individuals were low and similar among locations (from 1.6 to 6.5%). Consequently, all fan mussels, over the entire coastline surveyed, including those in the most geographically isolated areas, belong to a large genetically homogeneous population across the Gulf of Lion. Considering the ongoing mass mortality context, this result demonstrates that almost all of the genetic diversity of P. nobilis populations is still preserved even in isolated lagoons, which might represent a refuge habitat for the future of the species.
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Contributor : Sonja Böttger <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 28, 2021 - 10:35:23 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 3:29:55 AM

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Claire Peyran, Emilie Boissin, Titouan Morage, Elisabet Nebot-Colomer, Guillaume Iwankow, et al.. Genetic homogeneity of the critically endangered fan mussel, Pinna nobilis, throughout lagoons of the Gulf of Lion (North-Western Mediterranean Sea). Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11, pp.7805. ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-87493-4⟩. ⟨hal-03240558⟩

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