A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure of Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus): A New Considerable Established Population in Iran

Document Type: Research Article


Department of Environmental science, Biodiversity Branch, Natural resources faculty, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor, Iran


New wintering populations of Whooper Swan have been recently reported from west Asia, a lack of information about the population and its origin. The understanding the genetic structure and connectivity are crucial for determining strategies of management for its conservation programs. The samples were collected from two populations in northern Iran, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland, where with large breeding populations and Poland, where it has started nesting recently. Total genomic DNA was isolated from fresh blood or feather samples and six microsatellites markers were chosen based on their level of polymorphism. The results indicated that the maximum and minimum of Allele richness were observed for Iranian (5.6) and Polish (3.44) populations respectively. The analysis of molecular variance revealed that 77 % and 23% of the total diversity belong to within and between populations, respectively. The 114 Whooper Swans from six populations were categorized into four gene pools. Structure analysis suggested that the Scandinavian populations (Finland, Sweden, and Iceland) were differentiated from the Poland population and from both the old and new Iranian populations. Generally, both populations from Iran have comprised maximum variety in terms of having different gene pool and it is likely that the new population of Iran (Feredonkenar), is composed of individuals that migrated from an old Iranian population (Guilan) to this area as well as some individuals from Scandinavian.


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