Inference of Raja miraletus population structure using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA: comparing the resolution power of molecular markers in exploring species and population boundaries

Crosara, Alessia (2016) Inference of Raja miraletus population structure using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA: comparing the resolution power of molecular markers in exploring species and population boundaries. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Abstract

This study focused on the role of oceanographic discontinuities and the presence of transitional areas in shaping the population structure and the phylogeography of the Raja miraletus species complex, coupled with the test of the effective occurrence of past speciation events. The comparisons between the Atlantic African and the North-Eastern Atlantic-Mediterranean geographic populations were unravelled using both Cytochrome Oxidase I and eight microsatellite loci. This approach guaranteed a robust dataset for the identification of a speciation event between the Atlantic African clade, corresponding to the ex Raja ocellifera nominal species, and the NE Atlantic-Mediterranean R. miraletus clade. As a matter of fact, the origin of the Atlantic Africa and the NE Atlantic-Mediterranean deep split dated about 11.74MYA and was likely due to the synergic influence currents and two upwelling areas crossing the Western African Waters. Within the Mediterranean Sea, particular attention was also paid to the transitional area represented by Adventura and Maltese Bank, that might have contributed in sustaining the connectivity of the Western and the Eastern Mediterranean geographical populations. Furthermore, the geology of the easternmost part of Sicily and the geo-morphological depression of the Calabrian Arc could have driven the differentiation of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Although bathymetric and oceanographic discontinuity could represent barriers to dispersal and migration between Eastern and Western Mediterranean samples, a clear and complete genetic separation among them was not detected. Results produced by this work identified a speciation event defining Raja ocellifera and R. miraletus as two different species, and describing the R. miraletus species complex as the most ancient cryptic speciation event in the family Rajidae, representing another example of how strictly connected the environment, the behavioural habits and the evolutionary and ecologic drivers are.

Abstract
Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Crosara, Alessia
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Scuola
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
DM270
Parole chiave
Raja miraletus, Discontinuities, Transitional Speciation, nuDNA, mtDNA
Data di discussione della Tesi
18 Febbraio 2016
URI

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