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Molecular Genetic Evidence for Parallel Life-History Evolution within a Pacific Salmon (Sockeye Salmon and Kokanee, Oncorhynchus nerka)

Eric B. Taylor, Chris J. Foote and C. C. Wood
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 401-416
DOI: 10.2307/2410810
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410810
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Molecular Genetic Evidence for Parallel Life-History Evolution within a Pacific Salmon (Sockeye Salmon and Kokanee, Oncorhynchus nerka)
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Abstract

The Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus nerka typically occurs as a sea-run form (sockeye salmon) or may reside permanently in lakes (kokanee) thoughout its native North Pacific. We tested whether such geographically extensive ecotypic variation resulted from parallel evolutionary divergence thoughout the North Pacific or whether the two forms are monophyletic groups by examining allelic variation between sockeye salmon and kokanee at two minisatellite DNA repeat loci and in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Bgl II restriction sites. Our examination of over 750 fish from 24 populations, ranging from Kamchatka to the Columbia River, identified two major genetic groups of North Pacific O. nerka: a "northwestern" group consisting of fish from Kamchatka, western Alaska, and northwestern British Columbia, and a "southern" group consisting of sockeye salmon and kokanee populations from the Fraser and Columbia River systems. Maximum-likelihood analysis accompanied by bootstrapping provided strong support for these two genetic groups of O. nerka; the populations did not cluster by migratory form, but genetic affinities were organized more strongly by geographic proximity. The two major genetic groups resolved in our study probably stem from historical isolation and dispersal of O. nerka from two major Wisconsinan glacial refugia in the North Pacific. There were significant minisatellite DNA allele frequency differences between sockeye salmon and kokanee populations from different parts of the same watershed, between populations spawning in different tributaries of the same lake, and also between sympatric populations spawning in the same stream at the same time. MtDNA Bgl II restriction site variation was significant between sockeye salmon and kokanee spawning in different parts of the same major watershed but not between forms spawning in closer degrees of reproductive sympatry. Patterns of genetic affinity and allele sharing suggested that kokanee have arisen from sea-run sockeye salmon several times independently in the North Pacific. We conclude that sockeye salmon and kokanee are para- and polyphyletic, respectively, and that the present geographic distribution of the ecotypes results from parallel evolutionary origins of kokanee from sockeye (divergences between them) thoughout the North Pacific.

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