Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 1291-1297.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019255

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Population genetic structure of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from Inexpressible Island, Antarctica, using SNP markers

Jian Zhang,Lu Dong,Yanyun Zhang()   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
  • Received:2019-08-16 Accepted:2019-11-20 Online:2019-12-20 Published:2020-01-14
  • Contact: Zhang Yanyun


China has proposed to establish an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) to protect the Adélie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, colonies on Inexpressible Island. However, the boundary of the proposed ASPA is disputed mainly by whether the South Bay population is a distinct genetic population in need of protection. We collected samples of Adélie penguins from the South Bay and neighboring Seaview Bay on Inexpressible Island and identified SNPs via Illumina sequencing for population structure analysis. Our results indicated that there was no significant genetic difference between the South Bay colonies and the Seaview Bay colonies, or between the higher and lower elevational colonies in the Seaview Bay. Thus, the breeding populations of Adélie penguin on the island could be recognized as a single conservation unit. The currently proposed boundary of the ASPA, which covers the majority of breeding populations in Seaview Bay, would be sufficient to protect the genetic diversity of Adélie penguins in Inexpressible Island.

Key words: Inexpressible Island, Pygoscelis adeliae, population structure, Antarctic Specially Protected Area, SNPs