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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Evidence of Genetic Segregation among Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) Atlantic Spawning Areas

Almeida, Rita; Mateus, Catarina S.; Alves, Maria Judite; Marques, Joao P.; Pereira, Joana; Prista, Nuno; Cabral, Henrique; Almeida, Pedro R.; Quintella, Bernardo R.


The meagre Argyrosomus regius, one of the largest sciaenidae in the world, is a valuable resource for fisheries and aquaculture. Despite its socioeconomic relevance, knowledge about population dynamics and wild stocks is still scarce, and conservation risks are associated with overexploitation. Two genetic distinct groups, one in the North Atlantic Ocean and one in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, were identified by previous studies. However, little is known about the genetic structure of the Atlantic group, where four important spawning areas have been identified. To assess if each spawning area is an independent breeding unit, the genetic diversity, populational structure, and demographic history of A. regius along the North-East and Eastern Central Atlantic coast were analyzed, using 15 microsatellite loci. Results corroborate the hypothesis tested, suggesting four genetic groups: a first group encompassing individuals from the Gironde spawning area, a second group encompassing individuals from the Tagus spawning area, a third group corresponding to individuals captured in the Algarve region, and a forth group gathering individuals from Morocco and Mauritania. This study reveals the need for specific fisheries management plans considering genetic structure information, and highlights the need for international cooperation.


Atlantic Ocean; spawning areas; demographic history; gene flow; population structure; stock management

Published in

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
2022, volume: 10, number: 12, article number: 1843
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Almeida, Rita
Universidade de Lisboa
Mateus, Catarina S.
University of Evora
Alves, Maria Judite
Universidade de Lisboa
Marques, Joao P.
Universidade de Lisboa
Pereira, Joana
University of Evora
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Cabral, Henrique
Almeida, Pedro R.
University of Evora
Quintella, Bernardo R.
Universidade de Lisboa

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science

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