[MARMAM] New publication: Characterization of 25 new microsatellite markers for the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and cross‑species amplification in other cetaceans (Céline Tardy - WWF/CRIOBE)

Céline TARDY celine.tardy63 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 21 00:44:21 PDT 2020

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce the publication of 
the following article in Molecular Biology Reports.

Tardy, C., Planes, S., Jung, J. L., Ody, D., & Boissin, E. (2020). 
Characterization of 25 new microsatellite markers for the fin whale 
(Balaenoptera physalus) and cross-species amplification in other 
cetaceans. Molecular Biology Reports, 1-14.

PDF requests can be sent to celine.tardy63 at gmail.com


Cetaceans are large mammals widely distributed on Earth. The fin whale, 
Balaenoptera physalus, is the second largest living animal. In the 20th 
century, commercial whaling reduced its global population by 70%, and in 
the Mediterranean Sea not only was their overall population depleted but 
the migration between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean was 
reduced. Previous genetic studies identified isolation between these two 
regions, with a limited gene-flow between these adjacent populations 
based on nuclear and mitochondrial markers. However, only limited 
information exists for the Mediterranean population as genetic diversity 
and abundance trends are still unknown. In this study, 39 highly 
polymorphic microsatellite markers were tested, including 25 markers 
developed de novo together with 14 markers previously published. An 
average allelic diversity of 8.3 alleles per locus was reported, ranging 
from 3 to 15 alleles per locus, for B. physalus. Expected heterozygosity 
was variable among loci and ranged from 0.34 to 0.91. Only two markers 
in the new set were significantly deviant from the Hardy Weinberg 
equilibrium. Cross-species amplification was tested in four other 
cetacean species. A total of 27 markers were successfully amplified in 
the four species (Balaenoptera acutorostrata, Megaptera novaeangliae, 
Physeter macrocephalus and Globicephala melas). A multivariate analysis 
on the multilocus genotypes successfully discriminated the five species. 
This new set of microsatellite markers will not only provide a useful 
tool to identify and understand the genetic diversity and the evolution 
of the B. physalus population, but it will also be relevant for other 
cetacean species, and will allow further parentage analyses. Eventually, 
this new set of microsatellite markers will provide critical data that 
will shed light on important biological data within a conservation 

Best wishes,



Céline Tardy
PhD student
WWF France - Bureau Marseille
6 rue des Fabres 13001 Marseille
Portable : +33 6 50 50 03 60

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