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Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Population genetics and zoogeography of Australian freshwater golden perch, Macquaria ambigua (Richardson 1845) (Teleostei: Percichthyidae), and electrophoretic identification of a new species from the Lake Eyre basin

MK Musyl and CP Keenan

Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43(6) 1585 - 1601
Published: 1992


Populations of golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) were sampled from both sides of the Great Dividing Range (GDR): from the Murray-Darling drainage basin (Murray R., L. Keepit and Condamine R.), the L. Eyre internal drainage basin (Barcoo R. and Diamantina R.), and the internal drainage basin of the Bulloo R.-all to the west of the GDR-and from the Fitzroy drainage basin (Dawson R. and Nogoa R.) east of the GDR. Starch-gel and polyacrylamide electrophoresis of 12 enzyme systems plus two general muscle proteins was used to estimate the genetic variation within and between populations. Of the 18 presumed genetic loci examined, nine were either polymorphic at the P0.99 criterion level or exhibited fixed allelic differences between some of the populations. Within the Murray-Darling drainage basin, there was little indication of heterogeneity. Contingency Χ2 analyses of allelic distributions among drainage basins indicated significant levels of heterogeneity at six variable loci. The isolated L. Eyre population exhibited diagnostic alleles at four loci when compared with the Murray- Darling and Fitzroy populations. The genetic distance of the L. Eyre population (Nei's D=0.23) from these two populations indicates that the L. Eyre golden perch is most probably a previously unrecognized allopatric species. The level of divergence (0 = 0.06) between Fitzroy and Murray-Darling golden perch indicates differentiation at the subspecies level, with no fixed differences observed between these two populations. Finally, golden perch from the Bulloo R. represent either (i) an intermediate evolutionary unit between the presumed ancestral L. Eyre population and the derived Murray-Darling and Fitzroy populations or (ii) a complex hybrid between these populations. Average gene-flow statistics, FST = 0.760 and Nem=0.08, suggest that the populations in each of the four basins can be regarded as separate gene pools that have been isolated for different, and considerable, periods of time.

© CSIRO 1992

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