Molecular investigation of banana shrimp (P. merguiensis) populations from Persian Gulf and Oman sea using microsatellite markers


1 Department of Genetic, Persian Gulf and Oman Sea Ecological Research Institute, Bandar Abbass-Iran

2 Department of Biotechnology, Iranian Fisheries Research Organization, Tehran-Iran

3 Department of Stock Assessment, Inland Waters Aquatic Stocks Research Centre, Gorgan-Iran

4 Department of Fisheries, Islamic Azad University, Qeshm Island-Iran


BACKGROUND: Molecular investigation of important commercial shrimp species is one
of the main goals to find out the pure populations and brood stocking of marine resources.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to study the population of P. merguiensis
and determining the extent of genetic diversity of this species. METHODS: Samples were
collected from three major distribution areas in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. Molecular
investigation was carried out using microsatellite markers. RESULTS: Only five out of the
eight primers of P. merguiensis produced good amplified PCR products with fixed annealing
temperature. The rest of the primers were either not easily amplified or produced nonspecific
bands. Seven alleles were found to be unique to each of the three populations of P.merguiensis.
Occurrences of heterozygosity deficiency were found at most loci. These heterozygosity
deficiencies in observed heterozygosity in comparison to expected heterozygosity may be
due to inbreeding, genetic drift and consequences of illegal overharvesting of P. merguiensis
in the studied areas as well. Deviation from Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium in both studied
species was significant in most microsatellite loci (p<0.001). We observed deviation from
HWE in most loci with hetrozygosity deficits. The genetic variation results showed that the
pairwise Fst values were significant between studied populations. The assignment test
revealed high gene flow between Hormoz and Jask and restricted genetic flow between Guatr
and Hormoz populations. CONCLUSIONS: It seems that the changes in immigration patterns
of populations between Hormoz, Jask and Guatr areas depend on the influence of Persian Gulf
currents or the life cycle of P. merguiensis in studied areas. Alternatively, the presence of
ecological barriers such as mangrove forests may result in restricted genetic flow between
Guatr and both Hormoz and Jask populations.