Abstract: The Balkans are known to have a high level of biodiversity and endemism. No less than 15 taxa have been recorded in salmonids of the Salmo genus. Among them, the Prespa trout is found in only four river systems flowing into Lake Macro Prespa, three in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and one in Greece. This is the first comprehensive survey of all streams located within the Macro Prespa Basin, encompassing the whole taxon range. A large genetic sample of 536 Prespa trout was collected mainly between 2005 and 2007. The sampling included 59 individuals from the Golema river system, 93 from the Kranska, 260 from the Brajcinska, 119 from the Agios Germanos, and five individuals from the lake itself. These specimens were analyzed with six microsatellite markers and by sequencing the mitochondrial control region. Nuclear data were examined through multidimensional analysis and assignment tests. Five clusters were detected by assignment: Golema, Kranska, Brajcinska upstream, Rzanska Brajcinska tributary and Brajcinska downstream. Most of these river systems thus hosted differentiated Prespa trout populations (with past gene flows likely dating before the construction of dams), except Agios Germanos, which was found to be composed of 5% to 32% of each cluster. Among the five trout individuals from the lake, four originated from Kranska River and one was admixed. Supported parsimonious hypotheses are proposed to explain these specificities. Conservation of this endemic taxon should take these results into account. No translocation should be performed between different tributaries of the lake and preservation of the Brajcinska populations should address the upstream-downstream differentiation described.
Keywords: Salmo peristericus; microsatellites; sequencing; Prespa Lake; Salmo trutta complex
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Berrebi, P.; Tougard, C.; Dubois, S.; Shao, Z.; Koutseri, I.; Petkovski, S.; Crivelli, A.J. Genetic Diversity and Conservation of the Prespa Trout in the Balkans. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 23454-23470.
Berrebi P, Tougard C, Dubois S, Shao Z, Koutseri I, Petkovski S, Crivelli AJ. Genetic Diversity and Conservation of the Prespa Trout in the Balkans. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(12):23454-23470.
Berrebi, Patrick; Tougard, Christelle; Dubois, Sophie; Shao, Zhaojun; Koutseri, Irene; Petkovski, Svetozar; Crivelli, Alain J. 2013. "Genetic Diversity and Conservation of the Prespa Trout in the Balkans." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 12: 23454-23470.