Assessment of the population structure and temporal changes in spatial dynamics and genetic characteristics of the Atlantic bluefin tuna under a fishery independent framework.

Puncher, Gregory Neils (2015) Assessment of the population structure and temporal changes in spatial dynamics and genetic characteristics of the Atlantic bluefin tuna under a fishery independent framework., [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biodiversità ed evoluzione, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7227.
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As a large and long-lived species with high economic value, restricted spawning areas and short spawning periods, the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT; Thunnus thynnus) is particularly susceptible to over-exploitation. Although BFT have been targeted by fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea for thousands of years, it has only been in these last decades that the exploitation rate has reached far beyond sustainable levels. An understanding of the population structure, spatial dynamics, exploitation rates and the environmental variables that affect BFT is crucial for the conservation of the species. The aims of this PhD project were 1) to assess the accuracy of larval identification methods, 2) determine the genetic structure of modern BFT populations, 3) assess the self-recruitment rate in the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean spawning areas, 4) estimate the immigration rate of BFT to feeding aggregations from the various spawning areas, and 5) develop tools capable of investigating the temporal stability of population structuring in the Mediterranean Sea. Several weaknesses in modern morphology-based taxonomy including demographic decline of expert taxonomists, flawed identification keys, reluctance of the taxonomic community to embrace advances in digital communications and a general scarcity of modern user-friendly materials are reviewed. Barcoding of scombrid larvae revealed important differences in the accuracy of the taxonomic identifications carried out by different ichthyoplanktologists following morphology-based methods. Using a Genotyping-by-Sequencing a panel of 95 SNPs was developed and used to characterize the population structuring of BFT and composition of adult feeding aggregations. Using novel molecular techniques, DNA was extracted from bluefin tuna vertebrae excavated from late iron age, ancient roman settlements Byzantine-era Constantinople and a 20th century collection. A second panel of 96 SNPs was developed to genotype historical and modern samples in order to elucidate changes in population structuring and allele frequencies of loci associated with selective traits.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Puncher, Gregory Neils
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Atlantic bluefin tuna, fisheries, next generation sequencing, genotyping-by-sequencing, palaeogenetics, single nucleotide polymorphisms, genotyping, population structure, larvae, taxonomy, conservation, genetics, spatial dynamics, migration
Data di discussione
29 Giugno 2015

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