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Genetic flow directionality and geographical segregation in a Cymodocea nodosa genetic diversity network

A Paolo Masucci1, Sophie Arnaud-Haond2, Víctor M Eguíluz3, Emilio Hernández-García3* and Ester A Serrão4

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College of London, London, UK

2 Département Étude des Ecosystèmes Profonds-DEEP, Laboratoire Environnement Profond-LEP, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la MER, Centre de Brest, France

3 IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

4 CCMAR, CIMAR-Laboratório Associado, Universidade do Algarve, Gambelas, Faro, 8005-139, Portugal

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EPJ Data Science 2012, 1:11  doi:10.1140/epjds11

Published: 28 November 2012


We analyse a large data set of genetic markers obtained from populations of Cymodocea nodosa, a marine plant occurring from the East Mediterranean to the Iberian-African coasts in the Atlantic Ocean. We fully develop and test a recently introduced methodology to infer the directionality of gene flow based on the concept of geographical segregation. Using the Jensen-Shannon divergence, we are able to extract a directed network of gene flow describing the evolutionary patterns of Cymodocea nodosa. In particular we recover the genetic segregation that the marine plant underwent during its evolution. The results are confirmed by natural evidence and are consistent with an independent cross analysis.