Genetic diversity among the **Eurytemora affinis** species complex in the Scheldt estuary and its tributaries using ISSR-PCR marker assay
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Estuarine, coastal and shelf science. - London
, p. 22-30
University of Antwerp
As an estuary being restored, the Scheldt (Belgium/The Netherlands) offers an interesting setting to study the response of organisms and ecosystems to changing conditions. This study specifically deals with this with regard to the spatio-temporal distribution and possible genetic differentiation among the species complex Eurytemora affinis (copepoda, calanoida). Until the 1990s, E. affinis typically occurred downstream the Scheldt estuary (Belgium/The Netherlands). In parallel to water quality improvement, E.affinis has recently also occurred upstream the estuary and in some of the tributaries. This paper aims to assess the origin of the copepod sibling species complex E. affinis occurring upstream the Scheldt estuary through genetic characterization. Using the Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) technique, we explored genetic pools of the E. affinis complex in three Scheldt localities (downstream, middle-estuary and upstream) and two of its tributaries. Four ISSR primers produced 75 polymorphic loci. Bayesian and hierarchical analysis revealed different but close genetic entities in both down and upstream localities. The middle-estuary individuals were genetically a composite mix of downstream and upstream populations (84% from downstream and 16% from upstream). A distinctive separation of the tributaries and the main Scheldt stream populations suggests that two fully independent genetic pools are present. It is of note that the tributaries showed a lack of genetic subdivision, that upstream and downstream E. affinis populations are closely related, and that the downstream population is most likely at the origin of the upstream one, which implies the necessity to guarantee sufficient oxygen concentration levels throughout the estuarine continuum to guarantee the presence of this species upstream. The results of the ISSR technique are discussed in comparison with genetic studies on E. affinis using COI barcoding. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.