Mitochondrial DNA markers of loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta) (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nesting at Kyparissia Bay, Greece, confirm the western Greece unit and regional structuring


  • Carlos Carreras Marine Turtle Research Group, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
  • ALan F. Rees Marine Turtle Research Group, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
  • Annette C. Broderick Marine Turtle Research Group, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
  • Brendan J. Godley Marine Turtle Research Group, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
  • Dimitris Margaritoulis ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece



population structure, endangered species, conservation, Caretta, Mediterranean, mitochondrial DNA


Genetic markers have been widely used in marine turtles to assess population structuring and origin of individuals in common feeding grounds, which are key elements for understanding their ecology and for developing conservation strategies. However, these analyses are very sensitive to missing information, especially from abundant nesting sites. Kyparissia Bay (western Greece) hosts the second largest Mediterranean nesting aggregation of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), but the genetic profile of this nesting site has not, as yet, been described using the extended version of the historically used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) marker. This marker was genotyped for 36 individuals nesting at Kyparissia Bay and haplotype frequencies obtained were compared with published data from other Mediterranean nesting sites. The results confirmed the connection between Kyparissia and other western Greek nesting sites and the isolation of this western Greek group from other Mediterranean nesting areas. As a consequence of this isolation, this abundant group of nesting aggregations (almost 30% of the Mediterranean stock) is not likely to significantly contribute to the recovery of other declining Mediterranean units.


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How to Cite

Carreras C, Rees AF, Broderick AC, Godley BJ, Margaritoulis D. Mitochondrial DNA markers of loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta) (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nesting at Kyparissia Bay, Greece, confirm the western Greece unit and regional structuring. scimar [Internet]. 2014Mar.30 [cited 2023Sep.25];78(1):115-24. Available from: