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Genetic Variation in Time and Space: Microsatellite Analysis of Extinct and Extant Populations of Atlantic Salmon
E. E. Nielsen, M. M. Hansen and V. Loeschcke
Vol. 53, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 261-268
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640938
Page Count: 8
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Information on genetic composition of past and present populations may be obtained by analyzing DNA from archival samples. A study is presented on the genetic population structure of extant and extinct local populations of Atlantic salmon from 1913 to 1989 using dried scales as a source of DNA. Variation at six microsatellite loci was studied. Tests for differentiation among populations and among time series within populations showed that population structure was stable over time. This was also confirmed by a neighbor-joining dendrogram, which showed a clear clustering of samples from individual rivers that covered a time span of up to 76 years. These results suggest that salmon populations evolve as semi-independent units connected by modest amounts of gene flow. Additionally, a clear association between geographic and genetic distance was found. This relationship has otherwise been difficult to establish in several recent studies. The discrepancy may be due to impact of human activities on the genetic structure of present populations, whereas old samples represent populations in a more unaffected state. However, other explanations related to differences in the sampling of past and present populations may be equally valid.
Evolution © 1999 Society for the Study of Evolution