RAPID-COMMUNICATION Genetic diversity and differentiation in natural populations of Arapaima gigas from lower Amazon revealed by microsatellites.
Genetic variability is one of the important criteria for species conservation decisions. This study aimed to analyze the genetic diversity and the population differentiation of two natural populations of Arapaima gigas, a species with a long history of being commercially exploited. We collected 87 samples of A. gigas from Grande Curuai Lake and Paru Lake, located in the Lower Amazon region of Amazônia, Brazil, and genotyped these samples using a multiplex panel of microsatellite markers. Our results showed that the populations of A. gigas analyzed had high levels of genetic variability, which were similar to those described in previous studies. These two populations had a significant population differentiation supported by the estimates of F and R (0.06), by Bayesian analysis (K = 2), and by population assignment tests, which revealed a moderate genetic distance.