Characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci in the Antarctic krill Euphausia superba

Rui Candeias, Sara Teixeira*, Carlos M. Duarte, Gareth A. Pearson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba is a pelagic crustacean, abundant in high-density swarms (10 000 - 30 000 ind/ m§ssup§2§esup§) with a circumpolar distribution and a key role in the food web of the Southern Ocean. Only three EST derived microsatellite markers have been used in previous genetic studies, hence we developed additional highly polymorphic microsatellite markers to allow robust studies of the genetic variability and population differentiation within this species. Findings. The microsatellite markers described here were obtained through an enriched genomic library, followed by 454 pyrosequencing. A total of 10 microsatellite markers were tested in 32 individuals from the Antarctic Peninsula. One of the tested loci was fixed for one allele while the other was variable. Of the remaining nine markers, seven showed no departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The mean number of alleles was 14.9. Conclusions: These markers open perspectives for population genetic studies of this species to unravel genetic structure, dispersal and population biology, vital information for future conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 3 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This is a contribution to the International Polar Year program. This study was supported by the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) through project PTCD/MAR/72630/2006 (GAP) and postdoctoral fellowship SFRH/BPD/39097/ 2007 (ST) and by the project ATOS funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (POL2006-00550/CTM). We thank the crew of R/V Hespérides, technicians from the UTM and cruise participants for help and support.


  • Antarctic krill
  • Euphausia superba
  • Genetic diversity
  • Microsatellites
  • Pelagic invertebrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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