SREL Reprint #0930




Genetic Differentiation Among Local Populations of the Yellow-Bellied Slider Turtle (Pseudemys scripta)

Kim T. Scribner, Michael H. Smith, and J. Whitfield Gibbons



Variation at 10 electrophoretic loci was used to describe the population structure of yellow-bellied slider turtles (Pseudemys scripta, n = 104) collected from four discrete locations on or near the Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina.  Collectively, turtles exhibited a per locus heterozygosity of 0.148.  Enzyme polymorphisms were observed at seven of the 10 loci.  Significant spatial heterogeneity was observed at five of seven polymorphic loci.  Significant Fn values were noted for 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase and phosphoglucomutase seemingly due in part to presence or absence of rare alleles.  Neiís distance values between samples were consistently low, ranging from 0.00-0.024.  The disjunct nature of suitable habitat could account for population genetic differentiation as a result of drift or selection.  However, some gene flow as a consequence of terrestrial dispersal could account for overall genetic similarities, particularly between variable environments.

Key words:  Reptilia; Testudines; Emydidae; Pseudemys; Populations; Demography; Electrophoresis


SREL Reprint #0930

Scribner, K.T., M.H. Smith, and J.W. Gibbons. 1984. Genetic differentiation among local populations of the yellow-bellied slider turtle (Pseudemys scripta). Herpetologica 40:382-387.

To request a reprint