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Diversity 2013, 5(4), 703-723; doi:10.3390/d5040703
Article

Molecular Identification and Historic Demography of the Marine Tucuxi (Sotalia guianensis) at the Amazon River’s Mouth by Means of Mitochondrial Control Region Gene Sequences and Implications for Conservation

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Received: 7 May 2013; in revised form: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Systematic and Genetic Diversity)
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Abstract: In 2005, three fishermen, with artisan fishing vessels and drift gillnets, accidentally captured around 200 dolphins between Vigia and Salinópolis in the Amazon River estuary. The dolphins died and they then prepared their vaginas and penises in order to sell them in the Ver-ao-Peso market in the city of Belem within the Brazilian state of Pará. We randomly sampled a minimal quantity of tissue of these sexual organs from 78 of these 200 dolphins and we determined the following results after sequencing 689 base pairs (bp) from the mitochondrial control region gene: (1) 96.15% (75/78) of these dolphins belonged to the species Sotalia guianensis. The other species detected were Steno brenadensis, Stenella coeruleoalba and Tursiops truncatus; (2) The levels of gene diversity found in this sample of S. guianensis were high (33 haplotypes, haplotype diversity of 0.917 and nucleotide diversity of 0.0045) compared to gene diversities found in other Brazilian S. guianensis locations; (3) All the population genetics methods employed indicated a clear population expansion in this population. This population expansion could have begun 400,000 years ago; (4) The haplotype divergence within this population could have begun around 2.1 millions of years ago (MYA), with posterior splits around 2.0–1.8 MYA, 1.7–1.8 MYA, 1–1.5 MYA, 0.6–0.8 MYA, 0.4–0.2 MYA and 0.16–0.02 MYA, all during the Pleistocene.
Keywords: Sotalia guianensis; Sotalia fluviatilis; Steno brenadensis; Ver-ao-Peso market; mitochondrial control region gene; Amazon River mouth; population expansion; Pleistocene Sotalia guianensis; Sotalia fluviatilis; Steno brenadensis; Ver-ao-Peso market; mitochondrial control region gene; Amazon River mouth; population expansion; Pleistocene
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruiz-García, M.; Mejia, D.; Escobar-Armel, P.; Tejada-Martínez, D.; Shostell, J.M. Molecular Identification and Historic Demography of the Marine Tucuxi (Sotalia guianensis) at the Amazon River’s Mouth by Means of Mitochondrial Control Region Gene Sequences and Implications for Conservation. Diversity 2013, 5, 703-723.

AMA Style

Ruiz-García M, Mejia D, Escobar-Armel P, Tejada-Martínez D, Shostell JM. Molecular Identification and Historic Demography of the Marine Tucuxi (Sotalia guianensis) at the Amazon River’s Mouth by Means of Mitochondrial Control Region Gene Sequences and Implications for Conservation. Diversity. 2013; 5(4):703-723.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ruiz-García, Manuel; Mejia, David; Escobar-Armel, Pablo; Tejada-Martínez, Daniela; Shostell, Joseph M. 2013. "Molecular Identification and Historic Demography of the Marine Tucuxi (Sotalia guianensis) at the Amazon River’s Mouth by Means of Mitochondrial Control Region Gene Sequences and Implications for Conservation." Diversity 5, no. 4: 703-723.

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