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|Title:||Role of oceanography in shaping the genetic structure in the North Pacific hake Merluccius productus.|
|Abstract:||Determining the relative influence of biotic and abiotic factors on genetic connectivity among populations remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology and in the management and conservation of species. North Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) inhabits upwelling regions in the California Current ecosystem from the Gulf of California to the Gulf of Alaska. In this study, we examined mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite variation to estimate levels of genetic differentiation of M. productus in relation to the role of oceanographic features as potential barriers to gene flow. Samples were obtained from nine sites spanning a large part of the geographic range of the species, from Puget Sound, Washington to Costa Rica. The microsatellite results revealed three genetically discrete populations: one spanning the eastern Pacific coast, and two apparently resident populations circumscribed to the Puget Sound and the northern Gulf of California (FST = 0.032, p = 0.036). Cytochrome b sequence data indicated that isolation between the Puget Sound and northern Gulf of California populations from the coastal Pacific were recent phenomena (18.5 kyr for Puget Sound and 40 kyr for the northern Gulf of California). Oceanographic data obtained from the Gulf of California support the hypothesis that permanent fronts within the region, and strong gradients at the entrance to the Gulf of California act as barriers to gene flow. A seascape genetics approach found significant genetic-environment associations, where the daytime sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentrations were the best predictive variables for the observed genetic differentiation. Considering the potential causes of genetic isolation among the three populations, e.g. spawning areas in different latitudes associated with upwelling processes, oceanographic barriers, asymmetric migration and specialized diet, oceanographic barriers appear to be a likely mechanism restricting gene flow.|
|Appears in Collections:||Fundaciones e Institutos de Investigación > IIS H. U. La Paz > Artículos|
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