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Phylogeography of the mullet species Mugil liza and M. platanus (Teleostei: Mugiliformes: Mugilidae)

Grant number: 09/05658-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2009 - July 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Claudio de Oliveira
Grantee:Claudio de Oliveira
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Fishes, corresponding to about 50% of all vertebrate species, have suffered the effects of environmental changes, pollution, river degradation, overfishing, among others. Considering that these organisms have a strong importance as generators of knowledge, food and richness generation, it is a consensus that the conservation and management of this biodiversity should be prioritized. Actually, growing efforts have been developed to better characterize the fish fauna of Brazil from the taxonomic and systematic point of views with the objective of knows our biodiversity, increasing our knowledge about it and also permit its use in a more rational way. On the other hand, some very important aspects as the genetic structure of populations are still poorly knew, even for groups extensively used as human food, as in the case of mullets (tainhas and paratis). Seven species of Mugil are cited for the Brazilian coast, being M. liza and M. platanus those that grow bigger and are among the most exploited. Recent studies suggest that these two species could belong to a single species or, moreover, constitute local populations of M. cephalus. The present study intents, through mitochondrial DNA sequences analysis, study samples of M. liza and M. platanus from all its distribution area, with the objective to elucidate the taxonomic status of these two species and test the hypotheses that M. liza, M. platanus, and M. cephalus constitute different species. The obtained information will be useful for the correct development of management and conservation projects of these species and may constitute a model for the further studies of other marine species providing tools for the correct stock identification and for the breeding and reintroduction programs. (AU)

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