An Initial Population Structure and Genetic Diversity Analysis for Stenella clymene (Gray, 1850): Evidence of Differentiation Between the North and South Atlantic Ocean

Abstract: Information concerning population structure and genetic diversity in Stenella clymene is still scarce. Previous studies raised questions regarding the species’ position in the genus Stenella and suggested that S. clymene might be of hybrid origin. The present study analyzed the mitochondrial control region (D-loop), cytochrome oxidase I (CoI), and cytochrome b (Cyt b) of northeastern Brazil individuals and compared them with S. clymene sequences from the North Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Brazilian individuals showed high haplotype diversity (D-loop: 1.00/p = 0.02; CoI: 0.99/p = 0.04; Cyt b: 0.96/p = 0.06) and probably constitute one population (South Atlantic Ocean). Significant differentiation and high FST values (D-loop: FST = 0.88/p = 0.00; CoI: FST = 0.70/p = 0.00; Cyt b: FST = 0.96/p = 0.00) were found between population units from the North and South Atlantic Ocean. For Cyt b, population units from the South Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico showed significant differentiation, but the FST value was low (FST = 0.11/p = 0.0). In addition, the haplotype network suggests connectivity between South Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico units. More effort focusing on S. clymene is needed to better elucidate the patterns of population structure within this species and, thus, provide sufficient data for conservation strategies.
Key Words: D-loop, cytochrome oxidase I, cytochrome b, Clymene dolphin, Delphinidae
Document Type: Research Article
Page Numbers: 507-516

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