The closely related chars Salvelinus malma and Salvelinus albus, which sympatrically inhabit the Kamchatka River basin and Kronotsky Lake (Kamchatka), attract the attention of the researchers because of their debated origin and taxonomic status. Previous studies of sympatric populations of these chars revealed small but statistically significant genetic differences between these species at a number of molecular markers, suggesting the presence of the genetic exchange and hybridization. In this study, based on genotypic characterization of nine microsatellite loci, a considerable level of historical and contemporary genetic migration between sympatric populations of these chars was demonstrated. At the individual level, a high degree of hybridization was observed, mainly among the Dolly Varden individuals from the studied populations. The obtained evidences on the genetic connectivity between sympatric S. malma and S. albus do not support the separate species status of S. albus.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 2, 2016
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