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Genetic diversity and historical demography of Atlantic bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

AuthorsMartínez, Pilar; González, Elena G. ; Castilho, Rita; Zardoya, Rafael
KeywordsPopulation genetics
Mitochondrial control region
Bigeye tuna
Issue Date2006
CitationMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39(2): 404-416 (2006)
AbstractBigeye (Thunnus obesus) is a large, pelagic, and migratory species of tuna that inhabits tropical and temperate marine waters worldwide. Previous studies based on mitochondrial RFLP data have shown that bigeye tunas from the Atlantic Ocean are the most interesting from a genetic point of view. Two highly divergent mitochondrial haplotype clades (I and II) coexist in the Atlantic Ocean. One is almost exclusive of the Atlantic Ocean whereas the other is also found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Bigeye tuna from the Atlantic Ocean is currently managed as a single stock, although this assumption remains untested at the genetic level. Therefore, genetic diversity was determined at the mitochondrial control region to test the null hypothesis of no population structure in bigeye tuna from the Atlantic Ocean. A total of 331 specimens were sampled from four locations in the Atlantic Ocean (Canada, Azores, Canary Islands, and Gulf of Guinea), and one in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, respectively. The reconstructed neighbor-joining phylogeny conWrmed the presence of Clades I and II throughout the Atlantic Ocean. No apparent latitudinal gradient of the proportions of both clades in the diVerent collection sites was observed. Hierarchical AMOVA tests and pairwise ST comparisons involving Atlantic Ocean Clades I and II were consistent with a single stock of bigeye tuna in the Atlantic Ocean. Population genetic analyses considering phylogroups independently supported gene flow within Clade II throughout the Atlantic Ocean, and within Clade I between Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. The latter result suggests present uni-directional gene flow from the Indo-Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, mismatch analyses dated divergence of Clades I and II during the Pleistocene, as previously proposed. In addition, migration rates were estimated using coalescent methods, and showed a net migration from Atlantic Ocean feeding grounds towards the Gulf of Guinea, the best-known spawning ground of Atlantic bigeye tuna.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2005.07.022
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