Importance of Genetic Characteristics in the Conservation and Management of Crayfish in Serbia and Montenegro

1 University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Sciences, Institute of Biology and Ecology, 34 000 Kragujevac, Serbia
2 Institute for the Protection of Nature, 81 000 Podgorica, Montenegro
3 University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia


PETROVIC, A., M. RAJKOVIC, S. SIMIC, I. MAGUIRE and V. SIMIC, 2013. Importance of genetic characteristics in the conservation and management of crayfish in Serbia and Montenegro. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 19: 1093-1104


Research of the population of crayfish of the family Astacidae on the territory of Montenegro and Serbia by using COI gene mDNA as a genetic marker, have shown that all populations of the species Austropotamobius torrentium are homogenous and belonging to the haplogroup “Southern Balkan”. Population of Austropotamobius italicus, recorded only in Montenegro in river Zeta’s upper flow, belongs to the (haplogroup), subspecies meridionalis. The findings of Austropotamobius italicus meridionalisare new and an expansion of the southern range border of this subspecies in the Balkan peninsula. For the populations of Astacus astacus, two haplogroups have been detected; the one from Serbia belongs to a new haplotype and is considered to be evolutionally older than the ones from Montenegro and Croatia. Using COI gene analysis, the highest value of nucleotide diversity (π) was noted for the species Austropotamobius torrentium, π = 4.6% (0.046±0.006); the lowest one was for the species Astacus astacus, π = 3.2% (0.032±0.006). The achieved results implicate urgent measures for conservation of populations Astacus astacus on the territory of Serbia and Austropotamobius italicus meridionalis on the territory of Montenegro, accompanied by the use of stricter measures in the management of populations of Astacus astacus in Montenegro.

Key words: Astacidae, phylogeny, COI gene, Balkan peninsula, conservation, management

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