Evidence of hybridization between Yaqui catfish Ictalurus pricei (Rutter, 1896) and channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque, 1818) in north-west México revealed by analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes

Alexsandre Gutiérrez-Barragán, Francisco Javier García-De León, Alejandro Varela-Romero*, Carlos Alonso Ballesteros-Córdova, José Manuel Grijalva-Chon, Enrique De la Re-Vega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Yaqui catfish, Ictalurus pricei, is the only native ictalurid species described from north-west México and south-west USA. It is an endangered species owing to the decline and loss of most of its historical populations, mainly because of competition and hybridization with the non-native channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. The Arroyo Cajón Bonito is one of the few remnant populations of Yaqui catfish in the Yaqui River basin, and it is threatened by the presence of channel catfish that escaped from private culture facilities. Phylogenetic analysis of two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes was used to detect evidence of hybridization with channel catfish in a collection of 20 catfish from Arroyo Cajón Bonito. Fourteen putatively pure Yaqui catfishes, five hybrids and one channel catfish were detected. This study further highlights hybridization between channel and Yaqui catfish as the main threat to the remaining Yaqui catfish populations. We recommend urgent evaluation of the remnant populations of native catfish elsewhere and their current conservation status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3334-3341
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Anna Valer A. Clark and José Manuel Pérez‐Cantú for the use of facilities at Rancho San Bernardino and Rancho Los Ojos Calientes, and the access to sampling sites in the Arroyo Cajón Bonito. We also thank Chuck Minckley, Alton S. Livingstone, Gerardo Lagarda‐Lagarda, Brett Montgomery and Luis A. Calleja‐Tarín for assistance in sampling. Field collections were made under Mexican government licence SGPA/DGVS/00595/19. The first author received a fellowship from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) for Master of Science studies. This work was funded primarily by Desert Fishes Council conservation award for partial funding for gene sequencing, the ADVC Cuenca Los Ojos, and Arizona Game and Fish Department. We thank Dr Anthony A. Echelle and an anonymous reviewer for the improvement of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords

  • México
  • Yaqui catfish
  • hybridization
  • non-native channel catfish
  • phylogenetic analysis
  • south-west North America

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