This paper studies the origin and the genetic and morphological diversity of the pumpkinseed sunfish, a North American invader that is actively expanding its range in the Northern Black Sea Coast. Based on an analysis of variability of the nucleotide sequence of the mtDNA cytb locus, it was found that all populations of the Northern Black Sea Coast (basins of Dnieper, Dniester, and Danube rivers) are represented by one haplotype. Intraspecific variability is absent. Phylogeographic analysis revealed that the most related haplotype is in a population of pumpkinseed sunfish from New Germany Lake in the Potomac River basin (Maryland, United States), which makes it possible to consider it a parent of the investigated populations. Morphological variation in countable traits was highly homogeneous. Significant differentiation of a sample from the population of the Dnieper Reservoir from the populations of the Danube and Dniester was found for plastic traits of both the body and cranium. Analysis of the trajectories of development showed that the Dnieper is inhabited by a “pelagic” morpho-ecological form of pumpkinseed sunfish, while the Dniester and Danube are inhabited by a“littoral” form. It is suggested that the success of the settlement of this North American species in the Northern Black Sea Coast does not depend on the origin or the level of its genetic diversity but is instead likely to be ensured by the realization of its available discrete morpho-ecological variability.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 21, 2014
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