Elasmobranch species with the smallest distribution in the world shows low genetic diversity

Kay Weltz and co-authors have new paper on the Maugean skate (Zearaja maugeana). They report no detectable genetic variation in the gene regions assayed in the mitochondrial genome. Variation in the nuclear genome was also low, with only eight out of 96 microsatellite loci showing any alternate alleles. The species is likely to be uniquely adapted for survival in the confined waters of the Macquarie Harbour (Tasmania), where it is exclusively found. Low genetic diversity suggests it may struggle with the rapid environmental changes potentially leading to extinction. Read more here.

Weltz K, Lyle JM, Semmens JM, Ovenden JR (2018) Population genetics of the endangered Maugean skate (Zearaja Maugeana). Conservation Genetics Early on line Nov 2018 doi:10.1007/s10592-018-1117-0