Background: The sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) is found in nearshore waters from Nova Scotia, Canada, to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In the southeastern United States two subspecies are recognized based on a number of meristic characters, primarily counts of melanistic pigment bars. The only previous study based on mtDNA control-region sequence found limited divergence between those subspecies and isolation by distance among 15 locations from Florida (Atlantic Ocean) to Texas (Gulf of Mexico). In the same study, using six sparid microsatellite markers, Bayesian analysis showed that the Gulf and Atlantic sheepshead form a single population. To reinvestigate the fine-scale genetic population structure and examine genetic support for the morphologically classified subspecies, a set of species-specific microsatellite markers was needed. Findings: Here we report on 24 polymorphic microsatellite markers isolated from sheepshead and screened in 57 specimens from the Indian River, Florida. The average number of alleles per locus was 13.1; mean observed and expected heterozygosities were 0.68 and 0.73, respectively. Nine sparid markers screened for the same specimens showed an average of 8.6 alleles per locus; mean observed and expected heterozygosities were 0.46 and 0.55, respectively. Conclusions: The polymorphic markers reported here can be used to search for genetic evidence for the morphologically defined subspecies, to elucidate the fine-scale genetic population structure of this broadly distributed coastal species, and to provide an opportunity to directly compare results of population delineation between nonspecific and species-specific markers.
Seyoum, S., Puchutulegui, C., & McBride, R. S. (2016). Isolation and characterization of 24 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the study of genetic population structure of the sheepshead Archosargus probatocephalus (Actinopterygii, Perciformes, Sparidae). BMC Research Notes, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-016-2058-7