Research objectives and content
The objective of this project is to determine the population structure of sardine in the Mediterranean and the adjacent seas, by using information derived from genetic markers coming from the non-coding portion of nuclear genome. Molecular genetic tools have been introduced in the last decade to address aspects of fish population structure with remarkable success. The application of microsatellite DNA assays in population genetics is more recent. The term microsatellite DNA refers to regions of chromosomes consisting of a number of short repeated motifs. The microsatellite loci are highly polymorphic, because the number of repeats varies greatly both within individuals and within populations. The analysis of these loci was rapidly accepted as a source of genetic markers, because of their high mutational rate, comparative ease of assay via PCR and accuracy of scoring.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
Gaining more experience in the use of molecular genetic markers; training in the use of automated sequencing facilities and their applications to microsatellite analysis. Specific knowledge on treatment of molecular data from microsatellite scoring.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Detailed knowledge of population structure can be relevant to fisheries stock management and conservation, enabling prevention of stock exhaustion due to local overfishing without imposing generalized restrictions on catch.