Genetic Structure of Mediterranean Sea Turtle Populations


Abstract: The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences of two species ( Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas) of sea turtles from the Mediterranean were analysed using samples from Northern Cyprus. Only one single haplotype for each species was detected. These results were compared with other published work regarding the genetic structure of sea turtle populations. These results suggest that the Mediterranean population of sea turtles were separated from their Atlantic relatives in the recent past. In order to protect these endangered sea turtles and to preserve the genetic diversity of the sea turtle population in the Mediterranean, individual nesting sites must be protected. That genetic studies can be done on the systematics of vertebrates, especially taxonomic studies of Herpetofauna, has also been shown by other related literature.

Keywords: Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, genetic diversity, DNA sequence.

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