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The complex evolutionary patterns in the mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the most species-rich shark order, the Carcharhiniformes (ground sharks) has led to challenges in the phylogenomic reconstruction of the families and genera belonging to the order, particularly the family Triakidae (houndsharks). The current state of Triakidae phylogeny remains controversial, with arguments for both monophyly and paraphyly within the family. We hypothesize that this variability is triggered by the selection of different a priori partitioning schemes to account for site and gene heterogeneity within the mitogenome. Here we used an extensive statistical framework to select the a priori partitioning scheme for inference of the mitochondrial phylogenomic relationships within Carcharhiniformes, tested site heterogeneous CAT + GTR + G4 models and incorporated the multi-species coalescent model (MSCM) into our analyses to account for the influence of gene tree discordance on species tree inference. We included five newly assembled houndshark mitogenomes to increase resolution of Triakidae. During the assembly procedure, we uncovered a 714 bp-duplication in the mitogenome of Galeorhinus galeus. Phylogenetic reconstruction confirmed monophyly within Triakidae and the existence of two distinct clades of the expanded Mustelus genus. The latter alludes to potential evolutionary reversal of reproductive mode from placental to aplacental, suggesting that reproductive mode has played a role in the trajectory of adaptive divergence. These new sequences have the potential to contribute to population genomic investigations, species phylogeography delineation, environmental DNA metabarcoding databases and, ultimately, improved conservation strategies for these ecologically and economically important species.

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Aim Effective management of non-indigenous species requires knowledge of their dispersal factors and founder events. We aim to identify the main environmental drivers favouring dispersal events along the invasion gradient and to characterize the spatial patterns of genetic diversity in feral populations of the non-native pink salmon within its epicentre of invasion in Norway. Location Mainland Norway and North Atlantic Basin. Methods We first conducted SDM using four modelling techniques with varying levels of complexity, which encompassed both regression-based and tree-based machine-learning algorithms, using climatic data from the present to 2050. Then, we used the triple-enzyme restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (3RADseq) approach to genotype over 30,000 high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphisms to elucidate the patterns of genetic diversity and gene flow within the pink salmon putative invasion hotspot. Results We discovered temperature- and precipitation-related variables drove pink salmon distributional shifts across its non-native ranges and that climate-induced favourable areas will remain stable for the next 30 years. In addition, all SDMs identified north-eastern Norway as the epicentre of the pink salmon invasion, and genomic data revealed that there was minimal variation in genetic diversity across the sampled populations at a genome-wide level in this region. While utilizing a specific group of ‘diagnostic’ SNPs, we observed a significant degree of genetic differentiation, ranging from moderate to substantial, and detected four hierarchical genetic clusters concordant with geography. Main Conclusions Our findings suggest that fluctuations in climate extreme events associated with ongoing climate change will likely maintain environmental favourability for the pink salmon outside its ‘native’/introduced ranges. Locally invaded rivers are themselves potential source populations of invaders in the ongoing secondary spread of pink salmon in Northern Norway. Our study shows that SDMs and genomic data can reveal species distribution determinants and provide indicators to aid in post-control measures and potentially inferences about their success.

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Adaptive divergence in response to environmental clines are expected to be common in species occupying heterogeneous environments. Despite numerous advances in techniques appropriate for non-model species, gene–environment association studies in elasmobranchs are still scarce. The bronze whaler or copper shark (Carcharhinus brachyurus) is a large coastal shark with a wide distribution and one of the most exploited elasmobranchs in southern Africa. Here, we assessed the distribution of neutral and adaptive genomic diversity in C. brachyurus across a highly heterogeneous environment in southern Africa based on genome-wide SNPs obtained through a restriction site-associated DNA method (3RAD). A combination of differentiation-based genome-scan (outflank) and genotype–environment analyses (redundancy analysis, latent factor mixed models) identified a total of 234 differentiation-based outlier and candidate SNPs associated with bioclimatic variables. Analysis of 26,299 putatively neutral SNPs revealed moderate and evenly distributed levels of genomic diversity across sites from the east coast of South Africa to Angola. Multivariate and clustering analyses demonstrated a high degree of gene flow with no significant population structuring among or within ocean basins. In contrast, the putatively adaptive SNPs demonstrated the presence of two clusters and deep divergence between Angola and all other individuals from Namibia and South Africa. These results provide evidence for adaptive divergence in response to a heterogeneous seascape in a large, mobile shark despite high levels of gene flow. These results are expected to inform management strategies and policy at the national and regional level for conservation of C. brachyurus populations.

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Background The order Lepidoptera has an abundance of species, including both agriculturally beneficial and detrimental insects. Molecular data has been used to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of major subdivisions in Lepidoptera, which has enhanced our understanding of the evolutionary relationships at the family and superfamily levels. However, the phylogenetic placement of many superfamilies and/or families in this order is still unknown. In this study, we determine the systematic status of the family Argyresthiidae within Lepidoptera and explore its phylogenetic affinities and implications for the evolution of the order. We describe the first mitochondrial (mt) genome from a member of Argyresthiidae, the apple fruit moth Argyresthia conjugella. The insect is an important pest on apples in Fennoscandia, as it switches hosts when the main host fails to produce crops. Results The mt genome of A. conjugella contains 16,044 bp and encodes all 37 genes commonly found in insect mt genomes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), two ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs, and a large control region (1101 bp). The nucleotide composition was extremely AT-rich (82%). All detected PCGs (13) began with an ATN codon and terminated with a TAA stop codon, except the start codon in cox1 is ATT. All 22 tRNAs had cloverleaf secondary structures, except trnS1, where one of the dihydrouridine (DHU) arms is missing, reflecting potential differences in gene expression. When compared to the mt genomes of 507 other Lepidoptera representing 18 superfamilies and 42 families, phylogenomic analyses found that A. conjugella had the closest relationship with the Plutellidae family (Yponomeutoidea-super family). We also detected a sister relationship between Yponomeutoidea and the superfamily Tineidae. Conclusions Our results underline the potential importance of mt genomes in comparative genomic analyses of Lepidoptera species and provide valuable evolutionary insight across the tree of Lepidoptera species.

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Aquaculture of the lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) has become a large, lucrative industry owing to the escalating demand for “cleaner fish” to minimise sea lice infestations in Atlantic salmon mariculture farms. We used over 10K genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to investigate the spatial patterns of genomic variation in the lumpfish along the coast of Norway and across the North Atlantic. Moreover, we applied three genome scans for outliers and two genotype–environment association tests to assess the signatures and patterns of local adaptation under extensive gene flow. With our ‘global’ sampling regime, we found two major genetic groups of lumpfish, i.e., the western and eastern Atlantic. Regionally in Norway, we found marginal evidence of population structure, where the population genomic analysis revealed a small portion of individuals with a different genetic ancestry. Nevertheless, we found strong support for local adaption under high gene flow in the Norwegian lumpfish and identified over 380 high-confidence environment-associated loci linked to gene sets with a key role in biological processes associated with environmental pressures and embryonic development. Our results bridge population genetic/genomics studies with seascape genomics studies and will facilitate genome-enabled monitoring of the genetic impacts of escapees and allow for genetic-informed broodstock selection and management in Norway.

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Studies on host–parasite systems that have experienced distributional shifts, range fragmentation, and population declines in the past can provide information regarding how parasite community richness and genetic diversity will change as a result of anthropogenic environmental changes in the future. Here, we studied how sequential postglacial colonization, shifts in habitat, and reduced host population sizes have influenced species richness and genetic diversity of Corynosoma (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) parasites in northern European marine, brackish, and freshwater seal populations. We collected Corynosoma population samples from Arctic, Baltic, Ladoga, and Saimaa ringed seal subspecies and Baltic gray seals, and then applied COI barcoding and triple-enzyme restriction-site associated DNA (3RAD) sequencing to delimit species, clarify their distributions and community structures, and elucidate patterns of intraspecific gene flow and genetic diversity. Our results showed that Corynosoma species diversity reflected host colonization histories and population sizes, with four species being present in the Arctic, three in the Baltic Sea, two in Lake Ladoga, and only one in Lake Saimaa. We found statistically significant population-genetic differentiation within all three Corynosoma species that occur in more than one seal (sub)species. Genetic diversity tended to be high in Corynosoma populations originating from Arctic ringed seals and low in the landlocked populations. Our results indicate that acanthocephalan communities in landlocked seal populations are impoverished with respect to both species and intraspecific genetic diversity. Interestingly, the loss of genetic diversity within Corynosoma species seems to have been less drastic than in their seal hosts, possibly due to their large local effective population sizes resulting from high infection intensities and effective intra-host population mixing. Our study highlights the utility of genomic methods in investigations of community composition and genetic diversity of understudied parasites.

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The aim of this study was to evaluate whether sea lice grazing efficiency, behaviour, size variation and cataract development can be improved through selective breeding of lumpfish. A series of studies was conducted over a four-year period where distinctive lumpfish families were established initially from wild caught mature fish and latterly from established breeding lines. Four subsequent trials (called: Phase I-IV) with ten families of lumpfish (N = 480) with a mean (± SD) weight of 46.4 ± 9.4 g (Phase I), 54.8 ± 9.2 g (Phase II), 42.0 ± 7.4 g (Phase III) and 31.3 ± 2.4 g (Phase IV) were distributed among ten sea cages (5 × 5 × 5 m) during autumn 2018 to spring 2022, each stocked with 400–404 Atlantic salmon with an average initial mean (± SD) of 387 ± 9 g (Phase I), 621 ± 15 g (Phase II), 280 ± 16 g (Phase III) and 480 ± 66 g (Phase IV). All the ten cages were stocked with 48 lumpfish (12% stocking density). In all phases there was a large inter-family variation of lice grazing of lumpfish of both L. salmonis and C. elongatus. When sea lice grazing was scaled in relation to sea lice infestation numbers on the salmon the highest sea lice grazing activity was found in Phase IV and in particular in families sired from farmed parents. There was a general trend for mean start weights and standard deviations to decrease as the phases continued. A significant increase was found in frequency of behaviour associated with feeding on natural food sources and grazing sea lice from salmon during each subsequent phase. The increase in incidence of cataracts from start to end of each trial phase was significantly reduced from Phase I (16%) to Phase IV (2%). Overall, present findings showed that sea lice grazing of both L. salmonis and C. elongatus, size variation, cataract prevalence and behaviour types can be enhanced through selection and targeted breeding programs.

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Continued anthropogenic environmental change is wreaking havoc on natural populations, with the stresses and pulses of induced ecological processes affecting a species' local habitat, resulting in inadvertent distribution shifts, hybridization events, and eventual biodiversity loss. It is more critical than ever to monitor the unintended consequences of human activity on not only natural populations, but also community structures and ecosystems. DNA-based (genetic and genomic) monitoring is a critical component of biodiversity monitoring because it allows for the tracking and quantification of temporal changes in population genetic metrics or other population data. Genetic/genomic monitoring enables the estimation of a variety of biological parameters, including demographic parameters (abundance, occupancy, hybridization, and disease status), population genetic parameters (genetic diversity, structure, and effective population size), and responses to anthropogenic selective pressures (exploitation, biological invasions, and climate change). This keynote address will highlight the practical implications of integrating genetic data into management, conservation objectives, and policymaking, as well as capacity building through international partnerships, using case studies from the Norwegian Barents Region.

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Lumpfish is now the single most important cleaner fish species to date and there is an extensive lumpfish translocation along the Norwegian coast. A reliable baseline information about the population genetic structure of lumpfish is a prerequisite for an optimal managing of the species to minimize possible genetic translocation and avoid possible hybridisation and introgression with local populations. The current study is a follow up of the study of Jónsdóttir et al. (2018) using expressed sequence tag-short tandem repeats (EST-STRs) markers. Samples (N = 291) were analysed from six sample locations along the Norwegian coastline from south to north, with additional 18 samples of first-generation (from wild fish) reared fish from a fish farm outside Tromsø (North Norway). Present findings show a lack of population differentiation among lumpfish sampling population along the Norwegian coast using EST-STRs, which is in accordance with the findings of Jónsdóttir et al. (2018) where genomic STRs (g-STRs) were analysed. Present findings indicate that should translocated lumpfish escape from salmon sea pens in Norway, this will probably have little impact on the genetic composition of the local lumpfish population.

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We determined the mitogenome of Cyclopterus lumpus using a hybrid sequencing approach, and another four closely related species in the Liparidae based on available next-generation sequence data. We found that the mitogenome of C. lumpus was 17,266 bp in length, where the length and organisation were comparable to those reported for cottoids. However, we found a GC-homopolymer region in the intergenic space between tRNALeu2 and ND1 in liparids and cyclopterids. Phylogenetic reconstruction confirmed the monophyly of infraorders and firmly supported a sister-group relationship between Cyclopteridae and Liparidae. Purifying selection was the predominant force in the evolution of cottoid mitogenomes. There was significant evidence of relaxed selective pressures along the lineage of deep-sea fish, while selection was intensified in the freshwater lineage. Overall, our analysis provides a necessary expansion in the availability of mitogenomic sequences and sheds light on mitogenomic adaptation in Cottoidei fish inhabiting different aquatic environments.

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In recent decades, a combination of increasing demand and economic globalisation has created a global market for elasmobranch products, especially the highly prized shark fins for Asian markets. Morphological species identification, as well as traditional cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding of shark fins and other products, become challenging when in a processed state (such as dried or bleached shark fins). Here a mini-barcoding multiplex assay was applied to determine the species of origin in case studies from southern Africa involving confiscated shark fins in different states of processing. This highlights that the illegal shark fin trade in southern Africa to a large extent comprises threatened species. Matching of sequences of the confiscated fins against public databases revealed several threatened species, including the CITES-listed species Carcharodon carcharias, Carcharhinus longimanus, Isurus oxyrinchus, Rhynchobatus djiddensis and Sphyrna lewini. The findings highlight the need for improved trade monitoring, such as to eliminate illegal trade in shark fins, which can in part be achieved through more widespread genetic sampling of internationally traded products. However, a major limitation to DNA barcoding in general lies in the lack of curated voucher specimens available on public databases. To facilitate the application of molecular methods in a more comprehensive evaluation of elasmobranch trade regionally, a concerted effort to create reliable curated sequence data is recommended.

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Conservation and management of large carnivores requires knowledge of female and male dispersal. Such information is crucial to evaluate the population’s status and thus manage ment actions. This knowledge is challenging to obtain, often incomplete and contradictory at times. The size of the target population and the methods applied can bias the results. Also, population history and biological or environmental influences can affect dispersal on differ ent scales within a study area. We have genotyped Eurasian lynx (180 males and 102 females, collected 2003–2017) continuously distributed in southern Finland (~23,000 km2 ) using 21 short tandem repeats (STR) loci and compared statistical genetic tests to infer local and sex-specific dispersal patterns within and across genetic clusters as well as geo graphic regions. We tested for sex-specific substructure with individual-based Bayesian assignment tests and spatial autocorrelation analyses. Differences between the sexes in genetic differentiation, relatedness, inbreeding, and diversity were analysed using popula tion-based AMOVA, F-statistics, and assignment indices. Our results showed two different genetic clusters that were spatially structured for females but admixed for males. Similarly, spatial autocorrelation and relatedness was significantly higher in females than males. How ever, we found weaker sex-specific patterns for the Eurasian lynx when the data were sepa rated in three geographical regions than when divided in the two genetic clusters. Overall, our results suggest male-biased dispersal and female philopatry for the Eurasian lynx in Southern Finland. The female genetic structuring increased from west to east within our study area. In addition, detection of male-biased dispersal was dependent on analytical methods utilized, on whether subtle underlying genetic structuring was considered or not, and the choice of population delineation. Conclusively, we suggest using multiple genetic approaches to study sex-biased dispersal in a continuously distributed species in which pop ulation delineation is difficult.

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To investigate the possible family influence on sea lice grazing of lumpfish on Atlantic salmon, ten families of lumpfish (N = 480) with a mean (± SD) weight of 54.8 ± 9.2 g were distributed among ten sea cages (5 × 5 × 5 m) each stocked with 400 Atlantic salmon with a mean (± SD) weight of 621.4 ± 9.2 g. All the ten cages were stocked with 48 lumpfish (12% stocking density). The stocking of cages was such that each cage consisted of two random families where full- and paternal half-sib families were randomly allocated to the different cages. There were clear differences in sea lice grazing efficacy, growth and cataract prevalence between the ten families assessed in this study. Lumpfish from families 2, 6 and 10 had the lowest mean weights but showed comparable growth rates compared to the other families throughout the study and this may be as a direct result of genetic influence. In addition, fish from these families had a significantly higher incidence of lice grazing of both L. salmonis and C. elongatus compared to the other families. Using mixed linear model to analyse the data revealed significant family and paternal effect on sea lice grazing. There was a trend for a reduction in sea lice grazing with increased size within each family. The results indicated that it was the smallest size classes of lumpfish (40–140 g) which exhibited higher sea lice grazing potential compared to the larger size classes within families. There were no clear differences in the lice grazing potential between male and female lumpfish within and between families. Overall, present findings showed that sea lice grazing of both L. salmonis and C. elongatus can be enhanced using targeted family production and if this behaviour has a genetic basis it may further enhanced through selection and targeted breeding programs.

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Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is predicted to reduce both genetic diversity and gene flow in ice-dependent species, with potentially negative consequences for their long-term viability. Here, we tested for the population-genetic impacts of reduced sea ice cover on the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sampled across two decades (1995–2016) from the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, an area that is affected by rapid sea ice loss in the Arctic Barents Sea. We analysed genetic variation at 22 microsatellite loci for 626 polar bears from four sampling areas within the archipelago. Our results revealed a 3–10% loss of genetic diversity across the study period, accompanied by a near 200% increase in genetic differentiation across regions. These effects may best be explained by a decrease in gene flow caused by habitat fragmentation owing to the loss of sea ice coverage, resulting in increased inbreeding of local polar bears within the focal sampling areas in the Svalbard Archipelago. This study illustrates the importance of genetic monitoring for developing adaptive management strategies for polar bears and other ice-dependent species.

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The common smooth-hound shark, Mustelus mustelus, is a widely distributed demersal shark under heavy exploitation from various fisheries throughout its distribution range. To assist in the development of appropriate management strategies, the authors evaluate stock structure, site fidelity and movement patterns along the species’ distribution in southern Africa based on a combination of molecular and long-term tag-recapture data. Eight species-specific microsatellite markers (N = 73) and two mitochondrial genes, nicotinamide adenine dehydrogenase subunit 4 and control region (N = 45), did not reveal any significant genetic structure among neighbouring sites. Nonetheless, tagging data demonstrate a remarkable degree of site fidelity with 76% of sharks recaptured within 50 km of the original tagging location. On a larger geographic scale, dispersal is governed by oceanographic features as demonstrated by the lack of movements across the Benguela-Agulhas transition zone separating the South-East Atlantic Ocean (SEAO) and South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO) populations. Microsatellite data supported very shallow ocean-based structure (SEAO and SWIO) and historical southward gene flow following the Agulhas Current, corroborating the influence of this dynamic oceanographic system on gene flow. Moreover, no movements between Namibia and South Africa were observed, indicating that the Lüderitz upwelling formation off the Namibian coast acts as another barrier to dispersal and gene flow. Overall, these results show that dispersal and stock structure of M. mustelus are governed by a combination of behavioural traits and oceanographic features such as steep temperature gradients, currents and upwelling systems.

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Maintaining standing genetic variation is a challenge in human-dominated landscapes. We used genetic (i.e., 16 short tandem repeats) and morphological (i.e., length and weight) measurements of 593 contemporary and historical brown trout (Salmo trutta) samples to study fine-scale and short-term impacts of different management practices. These had changed from traditional breeding practices, using the same broodstock for several years, to modern breeding practices, including annual broodstock replacement, in the transnational subarctic Pasvik River. Using population genetic structure analyses (i.e., Bayesian assignment tests, DAPCs, and PCAs), four historical genetic clusters (E2001A-D), likely representing family lineages resulting from different crosses, were found in zone E. These groups were characterized by consistently lower genetic diversity, higher within-group relatedness, lower effective population size, and significantly smaller body size than contemporary stocked (E2001E) and wild fish (E2001F). However, even current breeding practices are insufficient to prevent genetic diversity loss and morphological changes as demonstrated by on average smaller body sizes and recent genetic bottleneck signatures in the modern breeding stock compared to wild fish. Conservation management must evaluate breeding protocols for stocking programs and assess if these can preserve remaining natural genetic diversity and morphology in brown trout for long-term preservation of freshwater fauna.

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The lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus is commercially exploited in numerous areas of its range in the North Atlantic Ocean, and is important in salmonid aquaculture as a biological agent for controlling sea lice. Despite the economic importance, few genetic resources for downstream applications, such as linkage mapping, parentage analysis, marker-assisted selection (MAS), quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis, and assessing adaptive genetic diversity are currently available for the species. Here, we identify both genome- and transcriptome-derived microsatellites loci from C. lumpus to facilitate such applications. Across 2,346 genomic contigs, we detected a total of 3,067 microsatellite loci, of which 723 were the most suitable ones for primer design. From 116,555 transcriptomic unigenes, we identified a total of 231,556 microsatellite loci, which may indicate a high coverage of the available STRs. Out of these, primer pairs could only be designed for 6,203 loci. Dinucleotide repeats accounted for 89 percent and 52 percent of the genome- and transcriptome-derived microsatellites, respectively. The genetic composition of the dominant repeat motif types showed differences from other investigated fish species. In the genome-derived microsatellites AC/GT (67.8 percent), followed by AG/CT (15.1 percent) and AT/AT (5.6 percent) were the major motifs. Transcriptome-derived microsatellites showed also most dominantly the AC/GT repeat motif (33 percent), followed by A/T (26.6 percent) and AG/CT (11 percent). Functional annotation of microsatellite-containing transcriptomic sequences showed that the majority of the expressed sequence tags encode proteins involved in cellular and metabolic processes, binding activity and catalytic reactions. Importantly, STRs linked to genes involved in immune system process, growth, locomotion and reproduction were discovered in the present study. The extensive genomic marker information reported here will facilitate molecular ecology studies, conservation initiatives and will benefit many aspects of the breeding programmes of C. lumpus.

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Members of the smoothhound shark genus Mustelus display a widespread distribution pattern across ocean basins with a high degree of sub-regional endemism. The patterns and processes that resulted in smoothhound biodiversity and present-day distribution remain largely unknown. We infer the phylogenetic relationships of the genus Mustelus, based on sequence data (3474 bp) from three mitochondrial genes (CR, NADH-2 and 12S-16SrRNA) and a nuclear gene (KBTBD2) from seven species of Mustelus distributed across the eastern Atlantic- and Indo-Pacific oceans. Using the CR and KBTBD2 dataset, we infer the phylogeographic placement of Old World Mustelus, with particular reference to species from southern Africa. Using a near-complete phylogeny of the genus including Old World and New World species of Mustelus and publicly available sequences of the NADH-2 gene, we found supporting evidence indicating a major cladogenic event separating placental and aplacental species. Biogeographical analyses further revealed that the radiation of Mustelus in the southern African region was driven primarily by long-distance dispersal during the upper Miocene to lower Pleistocene. The placement of the placental blackspotted smoothhound Mustelus punctulatus at the base of the placental non-spotted clade suggests the secondary loss of black spots in the genus, and this was also supported by the ancestral state reconstruction. The results furthermore suggest that the Southern Hemisphere species of the genus arose from multiple separate dispersal events from the Northern Hemisphere which is in line with the earliest record of Mustelus in the Northern Hemisphere.

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The blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus is a cosmopolitan species found in warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical waters around the world. The research here aimed to assess whether multiple paternity exists in South African C. limbatus and to confirm phylogeographic patterns previously observed within the species. A minimum and maximum frequency of 50% and 71% multiple paternity, respectively, were observed in 14 litters genotyped with five microsatellite markers. Based on the mitochondrial control region, relatively high nucleotide and haplotype diversity characterised the South African sampling population, and pairwise φST values indicated that it significantly differed from the populations of the Pacific and the western Atlantic oceans. The haplotype network showed that the South African samples were grouped closely with the Australian, Indo-Pacific and West African C. limbatus samples, which is suggestive of an Indo-Pacific origin for this population. This study is the first to report multiple paternity in this species. Furthermore, the results reveal that C. limbatus from South Africa is genetically diverse and phylogeographically distinct from most other C. limbatus populations.

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Habitat discontinuity, anthropogenic disturbance, and overharvesting have led to population fragmentation and decline worldwide. Preservation of remaining natural genetic diversity is crucial to avoid continued genetic erosion. Brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) is an ideal model species for studying anthropogenic influences on genetic integrity, as it has experienced significant genetic alterations throughout its natural distribution range due to habitat fragmentation, overexploitation, translocations, and stocking. The Pasvik River is a subarctic riverine system shared between Norway, Russia, and Finland, subdivided by seven hydroelectric power dams that destroyed about 70% of natural spawning and nursing areas. Stocking is applied in certain river parts to support the natural brown trout population. Adjacent river segments with different management strategies (stocked vs. not stocked) facilitated the simultaneous assessment of genetic impacts of dams and stocking based on analyses of 16 short tandem repeat loci. Dams were expected to increase genetic differentiation between and reduce genetic diversity within river sections. Contrastingly, stocking was predicted to promote genetic homogenization and diversity, but also potentially lead to loss of private alleles and to genetic erosion. Our results showed comparatively low heterozygosity and clear genetic differentiation between adjacent sections in nonstocked river parts, indicating that dams prevent migration and contribute to genetic isolation and loss of genetic diversity. Furthermore, genetic differentiation was low and heterozygosity relatively high across stocked sections. However, in stocked river sections, we found signatures of recent bottlenecks and reductions in private alleles, indicating that only a subset of individuals contributes to reproduction, potentially leading to divergence away from the natural genetic state. Taken together, these results indicate that stocking counteracts the negative fragmentation effects of dams, but also that stocking practices should be planned carefully in order to ensure long‐term preservation of natural genetic diversity and integrity in brown trout and other species in regulated river systems.