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Genetic variability of Austropotamobius italicus in the Marches region: implications for conservation

Cataudella, Rosaria, Paolucci, Marina, Delaunay, Carine, Ropiquet, Anne, Hassanin, Alexandre, Balsamo, Maria, Grandjean, Frédéric
Aquatic conservation 2010 v.20 no.3 pp. 261-268
genetic variation, haplotypes, mitochondrial DNA, nucleotide sequences, refuge habitats, ribosomal RNA, Balkans, Italy
1.Ten populations of Austropotamobius italicus from the Marches region (Central Italy), two populations from the Appennines of Calabria and Basilicata (Southern Italy) and four populations from Friuli Venezia Giulia region were sampled to elucidate the geographical pattern of genetic variability in relation to recent and historical factors.2.A total of nine COI haplotypes belonging to three separate lineages have been characterized. Both lineage A (Northern Marches region) and C (Friuli Venezia Giulia region) were represented by one haplotype and were related to the Istria 1 peninsula and SouthAlps/Western Balkans lineages respectively. The lineage B included seven haplotypes belonging to the Appenines lineage.3.Two hypotheses on the origin of individuals belonging to the Istrian lineage in Marches are discussed: (i) a natural colonization from the Istria peninsula refugia by migrating westwards across the bridge between the Istria peninsula and Italy, (ii) an anthropogenic origin. Based on 16S rRNA sequences, the taxonomic status of lineage B and C, defined from COI mtDNA markers, belongs to A. i. meridionalis and that of lineage A belongs to A. i. carsicus. The existence of a complex geographic structure between Marches populations (Φst=0.66) of A. i. meridionalis should be further considered in conservation management.