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Population genetics of Norway Lobster Nephrops norvegicus

Gallagher, Jeanne; Carlsson, Jeanette EL; Carlsson, Jens

ATLAS work package 4 presentation at ATLAS 3rd General Assembly

Dublin Bay prawn Nephrops norvegicus is a commercially valuable demersal species. Its distribution ranges from around Iceland and northern Norway, in the North Atlantic, to Morocco and the Mediterranean in the south. Commonly known as Norway lobster, langoustine or scampi, it is commercially fished all year round. Relatively little is understood about this species’ population dynamics across its distribution while effective management relies on accurate information on how species are distributed over time and space.
Our research focuses on assessing population genetic structure of N. norvegicus in both deep and shallow, current, timescales. Mitochondrial DNA as a maternally-inherited, haploid marker is ideal for studying deep historical population dynamics and has been employed in my research to reveal a population structure separating Atlantic and Mediterranean samples for the first time in this species.
Next generation sequencing technologies allows the rapid generation of vast amounts of sequence data with unprecedented precision and breadth. We will employ Genotyping By Sequencing which will provide an insight into current population dynamics of N. norvegicus. This approach allows for the in-depth analysis of the populations genetic structure and demographic parameters. This will be used to identify intra- and inter population genetic variability with a view to examine the connectivity of N. norvegicus across its range. Revealing the population structure of N. norvegicus may prove invaluable to the fisheries management of these highly valued populations by identifying structure within the species, and possible larval dispersal routes.

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