Genetic evidence for panmixia in a colony-breeding crater lake cichlid fish

T. K. Lehtonen, K. R. Elmer, M. Lappalainen, A. Meyer

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Fine-scaled genetic structuring, as seen for example in many lacustrine fish, typically relates to the patterns of migration, habitat use, mating system or other ecological factors. Because the same processes can also affect the propensity of population differentiation and divergence, assessments of species from rapidly speciating clades, or with particularly interesting ecological traits, can be especially insightful. For this study, we assessed the spatial genetic relationships, including the genetic evidence for sex-biased dispersal, in a colony-breeding cichlid fish, Amphilophus astorquii, endemic to Crater Lake Apoyo in Nicaragua, using 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci (n = 123 individuals from three colonies). We found no population structure in A. astorquii either within colonies (no spatial genetic autocorrelation, r ∼0), or at the lake-wide level (pairwise population differentiation F ST = 0-0.013 and no clustering), and there was no sex-bias (male and female AIc values bounded 0) to this lack of genetic structure. These patterns may be driven by the colony-breeding reproductive behaviour of A. astorquii. The results suggest that strong philopatry or spatial assortative mating are unlikely to explain the rapid speciation processes associated with the history of this species in Lake Apoyo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1166
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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