Population Genetic Structure of Unionid Mussels Across Multiple Gulf Drainages




Harrison, Matthew

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Understanding patterns of genetic differentiation within and across wildlife populations is a key component to parsing the demographic and ecological processes that govern the spatial structure and evolutionary trends of a given species. As molecular and computational techniques continue to advance, these data have become critical tools in delineating population boundaries as well as informing appropriate management decisions. This study utilized a genotyping by sequencing (GBS) approach to study the genetic structure of three Texas state threatened mussel species of family Unionidae: Pleurobema riddellii (Louisiana Pigtoe), Fusconaia askewi (Texas Pigtoe), and Potamilus amphichaenus (Texas Heelsplitter). Principal component and admixture analyses paired with genetic distance estimates (GST) of these species demonstrated clear interspecific and intraspecific differentiation across separate drainages as well as indications of isolation within drainages potentially facilitated by geographic barriers such as river impoundments and local environmental and ecological differences. These data present an effective approach to modeling genetic structure across a landscape that allow for precise inferences on population boundaries that inform conservation units (CU’s) and the management strategies that use them (Funk et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2021).



mussels, population, genetic, structure, unionoida, unionid, gulf, drainage, watershed, riddellii, pleurobema, Fusconaia, askewi, potamilus, amphichaenus


Harrison, M. (2022). Population genetic structure of unionid mussels across multiple gulf drainages (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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