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Nuclear and mtDNA lineage diversity in wild and cultured Pacific lion-paw scallop, Nodipecten subnodosus (Baja California Peninsula, Mexico)


Pacific lion-paw scallops were collected from natural aggregations in Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Pacific Ocean), the Gulf of California, and from aquaculture facilities for genetic diversity analyses. Mitochondrial DNA sequencing uncovered two highly supported clades separated by 2.5% divergence. Data from ten microsatellite markers suggest individuals from these mitogroups are introgressed, raising questions about the mitotype origin. Some evidence suggests gene flow between La Paz and Ojo de Liebre; otherwise the Gulf of California and Ojo de Liebre are acting as two distinct populations. It is unclear whether translocations between sites have influenced the observed genetic structure or whether gene flow has been facilitated by past geologic events. Finally, scallops spawned for aquaculture are unique from the wild and have significantly less diversity. These results warrant the attention of managers and producers who should work to monitor and conserve genetic diversity in both wild and aquaculture populations.

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