Morphological Characterization of Wild and Cultured Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) using Principal Component and Cluster Analyses
The study was designed to describe the phenotypic variations in morphometric and meristic characters of Clarias gariepinus between two populations in different towns in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Fish samples were collected from Ero dam (wild population at Ikun Ekiti) and Christeve Aquaculture (cultured population at Iyin Ekiti) using cast net and dragging net. The samples were brought to Zoology Laboratory in Ekiti State University and measurements for morphometrics (24) and meristics (11) of each of the investigated catfish specimen were taken using standard procedures. To test the significance of morphological differences between the wild and cultured populations, all the data on morphometrics and meristics were subjected to Student's t-test at 5% level of significance. Principal Component Analyses and cluster analyses were then employed to analyse the data obtained from the morphological traits using Paleontological Statistics (PAST) software. Significant differences were observed in the means of the morphometric and meristic traits. The multivariate analysis also showed differences between the studied populations. These differences revealed the occurrence of heterogeneity between the two populations. Higher variations and sex related variations were also observed in the wild than in cultured population. The result shows the potential for commercial purposes of the population. However, genetic markers can be used in further studies to confirm the phenotypic diversity observed and assess the amount of variation in these populations.
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