Comparative Study of Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus) Populations Inhabiting Black Sea and North-West European Water Basins as Revealed by Variability in Cytochrome B Gene

1 Institute of Fish Resources (Agricultural Academy), BG – 9000 Varna, Bulgaria
2 University of Plovdiv, Department of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, BG – 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
3 Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture, BG – 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
4 Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Institute of Zoology, Dept. Ecology, J.-J. Becher-Weg 7, 55128 Mainz, Germany


TSERKOVA, F., I. KIRILOVA, T. TCHOLAKOVA, M. GEVEZOVA-KAZAKOVA, D. KLISAROVA, J. JOHANNESEN and I. DENEV, 2015. Comparative study of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) populations inhabiting Black Sea and North-West European water basins as revealed by variability in cytochrome b gene. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., Supplement 1, 21: 100–105

The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) is a euryhalinebottom-residing fish, native to central Eurasia. It is widespread in the Sea of Marmara, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Sea of Azov where it has been reported along all coasts and in fresh water bodies, including coastal lakes and lagoons. The species was accidentally introduced via ballast water of cargo ships in North West Europe and North America as well as the basins of several major West European rivers like the Rhine, Mosel, Elba etc. In the present study, we used variability of cytochrome b gene to compare 30 samples from the West European Rivers Rhine and Mosel with 41 samples representing Black Sea natural populations in order to study phylogenetic relations between these regions. Five haplotypes were identified. While four of them were found at isolated locations in Black Sea region, the haplotype H1 was found throughout the Black Sea and exclusively in the rivers Rhine and Mosel. H1 is identical to the dominant haplotype reported in North America and other North European locations. These results support the concept that the invasive gobies originated from the Black Sea. Further phylogenetic analyzes are under way to analyze the exact mechanisms of introduction and whether there is a gene flow among subpopulations of invasive gobies.

Key words: Cytochrome b, Gobiidae, molecular taxonomy, Neogobius melanostomus

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