Genetic and morphological variability of the European mudminnow Umbra krameri (Teleostei, Umbridae) in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a basis for future conservation activities
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As a basis for future conservation activities, the genetic and external body morphology variability of the European mudminnow Umbra krameri, a highly endangered fish species in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was determined for existing populations with the use of molecular markers (mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA) and geometric morphometric methods. Mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene analysis revealed two previously undescribed haplotypes: Da1 (the Lugomir population from the Danube River basin) and Sa1 (the Bakreni Batar and the Gromielj populations from the Sava River system), with a corresponding genetic distance of 07\%. Paired values of F-ST and D-AS distances for microsatellite marker data show that the difference between the Danube and the Sava populations is seven to nine times higher than the difference between the populations within the Sava River system. Geometric morphometric analyses also support a clear separation of the Lugomir population from the Bakreni Batar and the Gromielj populations. The analysis of the body shape variation, however, indicates a significant difference between the two genetically indistinguishable Sava populations. The observed genetic and phenetic relationships of the analysed mudminnow populations most probably represent a consequence of historical, geographical and ecological factors. These results will offer guidelines for future protection, conservation and sustainable management of this species in the region.