Population structure of North Atlantic and North Pacific sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) inferred from mitochondrial control region DNA sequences and microsatellite genotypes

Huijser, L. A. E., Bérubé, M., Cabrera, A. A., Prieto, R., Silva, M. A., Robbins, J., Kanda, N., Pastene, L. A., Goto, M., Yoshida, H., Víkingsson, G. A. & Palsbøll, P. J., 2018, In : Conservation Genetics. 19, 4, p. 1007-1024 18 p.

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Currently, three stocks of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) are defined in the North Atlantic; the Nova Scotian, Iceland-Denmark Strait and Eastern North Atlantic stocks, which are mainly based upon historical catch and sighting data. We analyzed mitochondrial control region DNA (mtDNA) sequences and genotypes from 7 to 11 microsatellite loci in 87 samples from three sites in the North Atlantic; Iceland, the Gulf of Maine and the Azores, and compared against the North Pacific using 489 previously published samples. No statistically significant deviations from homogeneity were detected among the North Atlantic samples at mtDNA or microsatellite loci. The genealogy estimated from the mtDNA sequences revealed a clear division of the haplotypes into a North Atlantic and a North Pacific clade, with the exception of one haplotype detected in a single sample from the Azores, which was included in the North Pacific clade. Significant genetic divergence between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans was detected (mtDNA ΦST = 0.72, microsatellite Weir and Cockerham’s ϴ = 0.20; p 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1024
Number of pages18
JournalConservation Genetics
Issue number4
Early online date30-May-2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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