Molecular identification and historic demography of the Marine tucuxi (Sotalia guianensis) at the Amazon River's mouth by means of mitochondrial control region gene sequences and implications for conservation

Manuel Ruiz-Garcí, David Mejia, Pablo Escobar-Armel, Daniela Tejada-Martínez, Joseph Mark Shostell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2005,three fishermen, with artisan fishing vessels and drift gillnets, accidentally captured around 200 dolphins between Vigia and Salinópolis in the Amazon River estuary. The dolphins died and they then prepared their vaginas and penises in order to sell them in the Ver-ao-Peso market in the city of Belem within the Brazilian state of Pará.We randomly sampled a minimal quantity of tissue of these sexual organs from 78 of these 200 dolphins and we determined the following results after sequencing 689 base pairs (bp) from the mitochondrial control region gene: (1) 96.15% (75/78) of these dolphins belonged to the species Sotalia guianensis. The other species detected were Steno brenadensis, Stenella coeruleoalba and Tursiops truncatus; (2) The levels of gene diversity found in this sample of S. guianensis were high (33 haplotypes, haplotype diversity of 0.917 and nucleotide diversity of 0.0045) compared to gene diversities found in other Brazilian S. guianensis locations; (3) All the population genetics methods employed indicated a clear population expansion in this population. This population expansion could have begun 400,000 years ago; (4) The haplotype divergence within this population could have begun around 2.1 millions of years ago (MYA),with posterior splits around 2.0-1.8 MYA, 1.7-1.8 MYA,1-1.5 MYA, 0.6-0.8 MYA, 0.4-0.2 MYA and 0.16-0.02 MYA, all during the Pleistocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-723
Number of pages21
JournalDiversity
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amazon river mouth
  • Mitochondrial control region gene
  • Pleistocene
  • Population expansion
  • Sotalia fluviatilis
  • Sotalia guianensis
  • Steno brenadensis
  • Ver-ao-Peso market

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