Effective population size (Ne) is one of the most important parameters in, ecology, evolutionary and conservation biology; however, few studies of Ne in surface freshwater organisms have been published to date. Even fewer studies have been carried out in groundwater organisms, although their evolution has long been considered to be particularly constrained by small Ne. In this study, we estimated the contemporary effective population size of the obligate groundwater isopod: Proasellus walteri (Chappuis, 1948). To this end, a genomic library was enriched for microsatellite motifs and sequenced using 454 GS-FLX technology. A total of 54,593 reads were assembled in 10,346 contigs or singlets, of which 245 contained candidate microsatellite sequences with suitable priming sites. Ninety-six loci were tested for amplification, polymorphism and multiplexing properties, of which seven were finally selected for Ne estimation. Linkage disequilibrium and approximate Bayesian computation methods revealed that Ne in this small interstitial groundwater isopod could reach large sizes (> 585 individuals). Our results suggest that environmental conditions in groundwater, while often referred to as extreme, are not necessarily associated with small Ne. © 2013 Capderrey et al.
Capderrey, C., Kaufmann, B., Jean, P., Malard, F., Konecny-Dupré, L., Lefébure, T., & Douady, C. J. (2013). Microsatellite Development and First Population Size Estimates for the Groundwater Isopod Proasellus walteri. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076213