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Using ISSR markers to detect genetic variation for marine turtles populations in Egypt loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

Journal of Aquaculture & Marine Biology
Nahla M. Naguib,1 Ahmed Salama,2 Islam M. Elsadek,3 Reda E. Moghaieb,4 Etr H.K. Khashaba,4 Sawsan S. Yousef,4 Ahmed ElSharkawy4


n Egypt, along the Mediterranean coast, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) come during nesting season to lay their eggs or for food with a rare occurrence for the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). In the Egyptian Red Sea there are five species that come to visit, the most common to observe are hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green (Chelonia mydas). The goal of this study is to conduct some genetic and ecological analyses a) to generate new markers that include other segments of marine turtles’ genome, as a tool to investigate new areas of variation/polymorphism between, among, and within populations and individuals; b) determine genetic diversity between and within the Mediterranean and the Red Sea populations using (individuals from the same and different habitats using ISSR); and c) determine allele frequency. At the ecological level, this study aims to assess sea turtles’ habitat and population distribution among different habitats in Egypt. Throughout the duration of this study, it was noted that there was a decrease in nesting areas attributable to the loss and fragmentation of habitats. Although there are some areas with no significant nesting prosperities it considered significant areas for foraging and highly important as migratory corridors, especially in the Mediterranean. The massive urbanization and unplanned touristic developments affect sea turtle habitat over the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. The Mediterranean coast showed demographic changes in the coastal regions. On the other hand, areas could still be valued with significant nesting areas for sea turtles, but an intense and regular monitoring programme should be established. The Red Sea needs a regular monitoring programme for better management conservation measures to be adopted. The polymorphism percentage resulting from ISSR marker was 45 and 36 for both loggerhead and green turtle populations in the Mediterranean, respectively; and 69 for the green turtle populations in the Red Sea. 


sea turtle, loggerhead, green, Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, ISSR