Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes in North Atlantic humpback whales: the influence of behaviour on population structure
Samples from 136 humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae, representing 5 feeding aggregations in the North Atlantic and 1 in the Antarctic, were analyzed with respect to the sequence variation in the mitochondria1 (mt) control region. A total of 288 base pairs was sequenced by direct sequencing of asymmetrically amplified DNA. Thirty-one different haplotypes were identified. The nucleotide diversity for the total sample was estimated to be 2.6 %, whch is high relative to other North Atlantic cetaceans. The degree of genetic differentiation in various subsets of the samples was estimated and tested for statistical significance by Monte Carlo simulations. Significant degrees of heterogeneity were found between the Antarctic and all North Atlantic areas, as well as between Iceland and the western North Atlantic samples. A genealogical tree was estimated for the 31 haplotypes and rooted with the homologous sequence from a fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. The branching pattern in the genealogical tree suggests that the North Atlantic Ocean has been populated by 2 independent influxes of humpback whales. The combined results from the homogeneity tests and the genealogical tree indicate that behaviour (in this case maternally directed site fidelity to a foraging area) can influence the population structure of marine cetaceans on an evolutionary time scale.
KEY WORDS: Philopatry . Population genetics Mitochondria1 control region . PCR
Palsbøll, PJ, Clapham, PJ, Mattila, DK, Larsen, F, Sears, R, Siegismund, HR, Sigurjønsson, J, Vasquez, O, Arctander, P. 1995. Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes in North Atlantic humpback whales: the influence of behaviour on population structure. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 116:1-10.
Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes in North Atlantic humpback whales: the influence of behaviour on population structure PDF (1.91 MB)
Article downloaded from: