Population genetics of sugar kelp in the Northwest Atlantic region using genome-wide markers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
MaoJ.-L. Jannink


An assessment of the genetic diversity of marine populations is critical not only for the understanding and preservation of natural biodiversity but also for its economic potential. As commercial demand rises for marine resources, it is critical to generate baseline information for monitoring wild populations. Furthermore, anthropogenic stressors on the coastal environment, such as warming sea surface temperatures and overharvesting of wild populations, are leading to the destruction of keystone marine species such as kelps. In this study, we conducted a fine-scale genetic analysis using genome-wide high-density markers on Northwest Atlantic sugar kelp species, Saccharina latissima and putative species, Saccharina angustissima. The population structure for a total of 149 samples from the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Southern New England (SNE) was investigated using AMOVA, Fst, admixture, and PCoA. Genome-wide association analyses were conducted for six morphological traits, and the extended Lewontin and Krakauer (FLK) test was used to detect selection signatures. Our results indicate that the GOM region is moderately more heterogeneous than SNE. While admixture was observed between regions, these results confirm that Cape Cod acts a...Continue Reading

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