Transcriptome-derived microsatellites demonstrate strong genetic differentiation in pacific white sharks
Recent advances in genome-scale sequencing technology have allowed the development of high resolution genetic markers for the study of nonmodel taxa. In particular, transcriptome sequencing has proven to be highly useful in generating genomic markers for use in population genetic studies, allowing for insight into species connectivity, as well as local adaptive processes as many transcriptomederived markers are found within or associated with functional genes. Herein, we developed a set of 30 microsatellite markers from a heart transcriptome for the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), a widely distributed and globally vulnerable marine predator. Using these markers as well as 10 published anonymous genomic microsatellite loci, we provide 1) the first nuclear genetic assessment of the cross-Pacific connectivity of white sharks, and 2) a comparison of the levels of inferred differentiation across microsatellite marker sets (i.e., transcriptome vs. anonymous) to assess their respective utility to elucidate the population genetic dynamics of white sharks. Significant (FST = 0.083, P = 0.05; G"ST = 0.200; P = 0.001) genetic differentiation was found between Southwestern Pacific (n = 19) and Northeastern Pacific (n = 20) white sharks, indicating restricted, cross Pacific gene flow in this species. Transcriptomederived microsatellite marker sets identified much higher (up to 2×) levels of genetic differentiation than anonymous genomic markers, underscoring potential utility of transcriptome markers in identifying subtle population genetic differences within highly vagile, globally distributed marine species.
Journal of Heredity
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bernard, Richards, V. P., Stanhope, M. J., & Shivji, M. S. (2018). Transcriptome-Derived Microsatellites Demonstrate Strong Genetic Differentiation in Pacific White Sharks. The Journal of Heredity, 109(7), 771–779. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esy045