The introduction of Far Eastern mullet (pilengas) in the Azov Sea in the 1970s–1980s has resulted in the formation of a self-reproducing commercial population. We have carried out a comparative population-genetic analysis of the mullet from the native (Primorye, the Sea of Japan basin) and the new (The Azov Sea basin) ranges. Genetic characteristics of three Primorye and three Azov local samples were studied using electrophoretic analysis of 15 enzymes encoded by 21 gene loci. In the Azov mullet, the initial heterozygosity characteristic of the donor population was preserved while the genotype and the allele compositions changed; the changes included a 1.9-fold reduction in the percentage of polymorphic loci and 1.5-fold reduction in the mean number of alleles per locus. The genetic differences between the Azov and the Primorye sample groups were highly significant. In the native range, no genetic differentiation among the mullet samples from different areas was found (G st = 0.42%), whereas in the Azov Sea basin, the samples from spatially isolated populations (ecological groups) exhibited genetic differences (G st = 1.38%). The genetic divergence of the subpopulations and the excess of heterozygotes at some loci in the Azov mullet suggest selection processes that formed genetically divergent groups associated with the areas of different salinity in the new range. The salinity level is assumed to be the most probable factor of local differentiating selection during fast adaptation and naturalization of the introduced mullet.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 19, 2004
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