We study 117 Pacific walrus samples from three rookeries within the western part of Chukchi Sea (Cape Vankarem, Cape Serdtse-Kamen, and Kolyuchin Island). We analyze the variability of nuclear (20 microsatellite loci) and mitochondrial DNA (three fragments). Two microsatellite loci which are described as microsatellites for the first time are used in this study: repeated sequences within introns of Coro1c and Plod2 genes. A high degree of genetic diversity is demonstrated for both nuclear and mitochondrial markers compared to Atlantic walrus. A high degree of genetic diversity is preserved within populations of Pacific walrus, despite a strong decline in the recent past. We discover the absence of significant differentiation for microsatellite loci and the presence of weak differentiation for mtDNA (mainly for a D-loop fragment). Walrus specimens that use the rookeries of the western part of Chukchi Sea are thought to belong to a single reproductive group.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 11, 2017
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