Genetic population structure of Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricta) using microsatellite analysis

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Science, Khorramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, P.O. Box 669, Khorramshahr, Khuzestan, I.R. Iran.

2 Department of Genetic, Faculty of Science, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, P.O. Box 135, Ahvaz, Khuzestan, I.R. Iran.


Information on the genetic structure of marine species is essential for stock improvement programs. In order
to analyses the genetic diversity of the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricte) by the microsatellite genetic
method, 64 samples were caught from the beaches located in Kish and Qeshm islands. Polymerase chain
reactions (PCR) of genomic DNA extracted from the samples were carried out using 5 pairs of microsatellite
primers. The results of this study indicated that all 5 pairs of primers were polymorphic. Average numbers
of real allele and effective allele were 4.90 and 2.99, respectively. Average rate of observed heterozygosity
was 0.570 and that for expected heterozygosity was 0.616. Study of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was
shown the entire locus had not equilibrium except Cm3 and Ei8 locus in Kish area. Fst (0.166) and Rst (0.634)
calculated by the Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) test illustrated that there are separate populations
of Hawksbill turtle in this part of the Persian Gulf (Kish and Qeshm islands). It seems that Kish’s
turtles live under better conditions in contrast to their Qeshm counterparts. Diminution of genetic variation
within examined population decreases its adaptation to environmental alterations. We identified two different
E. imbricte populations from north of the Persian Gulf.