Analysis of genetic diversity in beluga sturgeon, Huso huso (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Lower Danube River using DNA markers

Andreea Dudu, Sergiu Emil Georgescu, Alexandru Burcea, Iulia Florescu, Marieta Costache


The beluga sturgeon (Huso huso) represents an anadroumus species native to the Ponto-Caspian region, which has been severely affected by anthropic intervention. To take appropriate conservation measures for the wild population of Huso huso from the North-Western of the Black Sea that is reproducing in the Lower Danube is necessary to infer the genetic diversity and the structure of population by using DNA markers. The current study represents a preliminary attempt to evaluate the genetic diversity of beluga population by using microsatellites markers. Seven microsatellite loci (LS19, LS34, LS39, LS54, AoxD234, AnacE4, AnacC11) were analyzed and the obtained genotypic data were used to calculate the estimated heterozigosity (HE) and observed heterozigosity (HO) with Genetix Software. The Hardy-Weinberg was tested using GenePop Software. The average value of HO is 0.4760±0.2989, while the HE is 0.6049±0.2843. With the exception of LS19 and LS39, the other loci showed departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The deviation from the expected values might be the consequence of reduced population, inbreeding or the presence of null alleles that might cause a false excess of homozygous. Our preliminary results pointed out reduced level of genetic variation and might be first indication about the fragile status of this population.


beluga sturgeon, genetic diversity, Lower Danube River, microsatellites

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