Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract We examined population structure in the wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, by assaying six microsatellite loci in 422 individuals collected throughout the geographic range. Eighteen hapuku, P. oxygeneios, were assayed at the same loci for use as an outgroup. Expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.49 to 0.88 and averaged 0.66. Allele-frequency distributions at those loci indicated that samples from the eastern North Atlantic, western North Atlantic and the Mediterranean were genetically similar, confirming the pattern seen in a previous analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). Both mtDNA and microsatellite studies differentiated northern and southern wreckfish stocks. However, in contrast to the mtDNA studies, allelic variation at microsatellite loci clearly differentiated wreckfish from two Southern Hemisphere locations, Brazil and the South Pacific. Far more genetic variation was observed at microsatellite loci than with mtDNA RFLPs (haplotype diversity averaged 0.01), and we saw more evidence of population structure with the microsatellite loci. The differentiation between southern and northern wreckfish supports the distribution records, which indicate that wreckfish do not occur in the tropics. Temperature profiles and current patterns throughout the southern oceans apparently also prevent significant gene flow between the South Pacific and Brazilian samples.
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