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Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) in UK waters are differentiated from a population in the Mediterranean Sea and genetically less diverse

Gaspari, Stefania, Airoldi, Sabina, Hoelzel, A. Rus
Conservation genetics 2007 v.8 no.3 pp. 727-732
anthropogenic activities, dolphins, genetic drift, genetic markers, genetic variation, loci, microsatellite repeats, Mediterranean Sea, Scotland
The Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) has a worldwide distribution, but little is known about their population genetic structure. Local coastal populations are never known to be abundant, and are sometimes under anthropogenic impact. Therefore the question of regional differentiation by genetic drift and overall diversity levels is of conservation interest. Here we present preliminary data that clearly indicate genetic differentiation and lower genetic diversity of a population sampled in UK waters (primarily from the Western Isles, Scotland) compared to a Mediterranean sample. Significant differentiation was found in comparison with a sample from the Mediterranean for both microsatellite DNA markers (F ST = 0.0296) and mtDNA sequence data (F ST = 0.260; [Greek Phi symbol] ST = 0.542). Allelic diversity was lower in the UK for nearly all loci.