Phylogeography and Population Structure of Rio Grande Chub, Gila pandora

Marlis R. Douglas, Michael E. Douglas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Rio Grande chub (Gila pandora) is endemic to the Rio Grande and Pecos River in southern Colorado and New Mexico, and has a limited distribution with a disjunct population in the Davis Mountains of Texas. This species is severely impacted by stream diversion, habitat degradation, fragmentation, and introduced nonnative fishes. To more fully understand ramifications of these processes, genetic diversity was assessed in populations of Gila pandora in the upper Rio Grande drainage of CO and NM. Resultsrevealed shallow genetic diversity in G. pandora. Sequence data from four mtDNA regions were analyzed across 237 specimens and consisted of partial sequence of ATPase 8/6 and ND2 genes [671 and 656 base pairs (bp), respectively, and 694 bp of the D-loop region (all sequences from 5’ end) ]. While numerous haplotypes are distributed within and among populations, the divergence amongst these is relatively low (i.e., caused by differences at but a few basepairs only). However, on average, 70% of haplotypes found in a given population are unique to it. Pair-wise comparisons show significant differences between populations. Genetic diversity is distributed mostly within and among populations, and shows only minor divergence among drainages. From a conservation standpoint, G. pandora should be managed solely by population, for populations-within-rivers and individuals-within-populations are significantly differentiated, whereas drainages are not.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2008 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 23-28 July, 2008 Montréal, Quebec, Canada
StatePublished - 2008


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