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Genetic differences between the wild and hatchery-produced populations of Korean short barbeled grunter (Hapalogenys nitens) determined with microsatellite markers

Author(s): H.S. An, H.W. Kang, H.S. Han, J.Y. Park, C.G. Hong, J. Park, J.I. Myeong and C.M. An

Short barbeled grunter, Hapalogenys nitens, is an economically important fishery resource. In Korea, this fish is in the early stage of domestication, and it has been regarded as the candidate marine fish species for prospective aquaculture diversification. This study presents a preliminary investigation of the future viability of sustainable fry production from short barbeled grunter. We used 12 polymorphic nuclear microsatellite DNA loci to analyze the possible genetic variability between the wild and hatchery-produced populations of short barbeled grunter from Korea and identified 91 alleles. Compared to the wild population, significant genetic changes including reduced genetic diversity (average allele number: 7.42 vs 3.75; average expected heterozygosity: 0.713 vs 0.598, Wilcoxon signed-rank test; P < 0.05) and differentiation [overall fixation index (FST) = 0.088, P < 0.01] occurred in the hatchery-produced population, as indicated by the observation of allele richness, unique allele, heterozygosity, FST, and results of molecular analysis of variance. These findings indicate that genetic drift may have promoted the differentiation between these 2 populations, which may have negative effects on sustainable fry production. Therefore, genetic variations of the wild and hatchery-produced populations should be monitored and subjected to control inbreeding through a commercial breeding program. The information presented by this paper would provide a useful genetic basis for future sustainable culturing planning and management of H. nitens.