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Outlier SNPs detect weak regional structure against a background of genetic homogeneity in the Eastern Rock Lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 22:57 authored by Woodings, LN, Murphy, NP, Doyle, SR, Hall, NE, Robinson, AJ, Liggins, GW, Bridget GreenBridget Green, Cooke, IR, Bell, JJ, Strugnell, JM

Genetic differentiation is characteristically weak in marine species making assessments of population connectivity and structure difficult. However, the advent of genomic methods has increased genetic resolution, enabling studies to detect weak, but significant population differentiation within marine species. With an increasing number of studies employing high resolution genome-wide techniques, we are realising that the connectivity of marine populations is often complex and quantifying this complexity can provide an understanding of the processes shaping marine species genetic structure and to inform long-term, sustainable management strategies. This study aims to assess the genetic structure, connectivity, and local adaptation of the Eastern Rock Lobster (Sagmariasus verreauxi), which has a maximum pelagic larval duration of 12 months and inhabits both subtropical and temperate environments. We used 645 neutral and 15 outlier SNPs to genotype lobsters collected from the only two known breeding populations and a third episodic population—encompassing S. verreauxi’s known range. Through examination of the neutral SNP panel, we detected genetic homogeneity across the three regions, which extended across the Tasman Sea encompassing both Australian and New Zealand populations. We discuss differences in neutral genetic signature of S. verreauxi and a closely related, co-distributed rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, determining a regional pattern of genetic disparity between the species, which have largely similar life histories. Examination of the outlier SNP panel detected weak genetic differentiation between the three regions. Outlier SNPs showed promise in assigning individuals to their sampling origin and may prove useful as a management tool for species exhibiting genetic homogeneity.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Marine Biology





Article number









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



Place of publication

175 Fifth Ave, New York, USA, Ny, 10010

Rights statement

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught rock lobster

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