Strong genetic structuring in a habitat specialist, the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana

  • Hughes J
  • Ponniah M
  • Hurwood D
 et al. 
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This study used allozyme and mitochondrial DNA variation to examine genetic structure in the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana. This small-bodied freshwater fish has a very restricted distribution occurring only in some small coastal streams in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales. It was expected that subpopulations may contain little genetic variation and be highly di€erentiated from one another. The results, based on allozyme and mitochondrial DNA control region variation were in agreement with these expectations. Allozyme variation was very low overall, with only one locus showing variation at most sites. The high di€erentiation was because a di€erent locus tended to be polymorphic at each site. Mitochondrial variation within sites was also low, but some sites had unique haplotypes. The patterns of similarity among mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were not as expected from geographical proximity alone. In particular, although some northern sites had unique haplotypes, four sites spread along 200 km of coastline were remarkably similar, sharing the same common haplotype at similar frequencies. We suggest that these four streams may have had a con¯uence relatively recently, possibly when sea levels were lower, 8000±10 000 BP.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Allozymes
  • Gene flow
  • Genetic structure
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Nannoperca oxleyana
  • Pygmy Perch

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  • Jane Hughes

  • Mark Ponniah

  • David Hurwood

  • Stephen Chenoweth

  • Angela Arthington

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