1Co-editor, Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter

2Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh


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Molecular genetics has contributed greatly to our understanding of sea turtle biology and conservation efforts, and is the focus of two major papers in Issue 20 (July 2014) of IOTN. FitzSimmons and Limpus (pg 2) presents the location of genetic stocks of all sea turtle species in the Indo-Pacific region and compares genetic stock/Management Units with the Regional Management Units proposed by Wallace et al. (2011; PLos ONE6: e24510), while Phillott and Gamage (pg 19) provide a summary of genetics studies, including structure of nesting and foraging populations of all species, mating systems, DNA barcoding and identification of the source of illegal tortoiseshell products, conducted to date in the Indian Ocean and southeast Asia. Both papers identify gaps in our knowledge of sea turtle mating systems, stock structure, and management units. IOTN readers currently conducting, or considering, research in molecular genetics are encouraged to use longer (~800bp), more informative mtDNA sequences and contribute their sequences both to GenBank and the SWFSC database so as to ensure consistent haplotype designations and avoid confusion among ocean basins. Submitting details of your ongoing genetics project to the IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Genetics Directory (see Resources of Interest) will also facilitate collaboration and dissemination of information within our region.