The genomics of local adaptation in a marine demersal fish


A classical understanding of marine fishes is that they have high effective population sizes and high levels of dispersal due to an apparent lack of barriers in the marine environment. Therefore the realization of a genetic population structure is a slow process for marine organisms.

The aim of this project is to gain insights in the relationship between the neutral population structure and local adaptation in the marine environment by studying the interaction between selection, gene flow, population history and genetic drift. A non-commercial species, the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus), was chosen to distinguish between natural and anthropologically induced selection.

This project can provide a better understanding of how fish respond to the environment and by extension how they might respond to environmental change.


Local adaptation, phylogeography, population genetics, marine, microsatellites, candidate genes, rhodopsin gene, Pomatoschistus minutus, gobiidae


Freshwater Ecology {Research discipline}
Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology) {Research discipline}
Genetic {Integration level}
Origins, Maintenance and Change of Biodiversity {Research orientation}
East Atlantic {Geographical scope}
Inland Waters {Habitat type}
Marine and Coastal {Habitat type}
Actinopterygii {Taxonomical scope}


Name Role Amount
Post-Graduate Grants unknown 134.144.00 EUR


Name Role Start End
Volckaert, Filip promotor 2005-10-01 2009-09-30
Maarten, Larmuseau member 2005-10-01 2009-09-30


Name Role Start End
Laboratory of Animal Diversity and Systematics member 2005-10-01 2009-09-30


Name Role Start End
WESTBANKS: understanding benthic, pelagic and air-borne ecosystem interactions in shallow coastal seas partner


Reference Role
Larmuseau MHD, Guelinckx J, Hellemans B, Van Houdt JKJ & Volckaert FAM, 2008. Fast PCR-RFLP method facilitates identification of Pomatoschistus species from the North Atlantic. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 24: 342-344 author
Larmuseau MHD, Hellemans B, Van Houdt JKJ & Volckaert FAM, 2007. Development and characterization of nine polymorphic microsatellite markers in the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus (Gobiidae). Molecular Ecology Notes, 7: 147-149 author
Larmuseau MHD, Van Houdt JKJ, Guelinckx J, Hellemans B & Volkaert FAM, In press. Distributional and demographic consequences of Pleistocene climate fluctuations for a marine demersal fish in the north-eastern Atlantic. Journal of Biogeography author
Larmuseau MHD, Freyhof J, Volckaert FAM & Van Houdt JKJ, 2009. Matrilinear phylogeography and demographic patterns of Rutilus rutilus: implications for taxonomy and conservation. Journal of Fish Biology, 75, 332-353 author
Raeymaekers JAM, Van Houdt JKJ, Larmuseau MHD, Geldof S & Volckaert FAM (2007) Divergent selection as revealed by PST and QTL-based FST in three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) populations along a coastal-inland gradient. Molecular Ecology, 16, 891-905 author
Larmuseau M.H.D., Raeymaekers J.A.M., Ruddick K.G., Van Houdt J.K.J. & Volckaert F.A.M. (2009) To see in different seas: spatial variation in the rhodopsin gene of the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus). Molecular Ecology, 18, 4227-4239. author
Larmuseau M.H.D., Huyse T., Vancampenhout K., Van Houdt J.K.J. & Volckaert F.A.M. (2010). High molecular diversity in the rhodopsin gene in closely related goby fishes: a role for visual pigments in adaptive speciation? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 55, 689-698. author
Larmuseau M.H.D., Raeymaekers J.A.M., Hellemans B., Van Houdt J.K.J & Volckaert F.A.M. (2010, In press). Mito-nuclear discordance in the degree of population differentiation in a marine goby. Heredity. author
Larmuseau M.H.D., Vancampenhout K., Raeymaekers J.A.M., Van Houdt J.K.J. & Volckaert F.A.M. (2010, In press). Differential modes of selection on the rhodopsin gene in coastal Baltic and North Sea populations of the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus. Molecular Ecology. author

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:iwt

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform