ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2007, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 221–233. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2007.
Original Russian Text © V.S. Artamonova, 2007, published in Genetika, 2007, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 293–307.
Genetic diversity of many plant and animal species
has been studied throughout the 20th century, but the
mechanisms of appearance and maintenance of this
diversity are still under debate. Understanding these
mechanisms is essential for evolutionary reconstructions
and adequate planning of conservation and rational man-
agement of living organisms (see monograph ).
Regularities of the formation of genetic diversity are
studied mainly on so-called model organisms. For
instance, a number of important principles of popula-
tion genetics were inferred from studying salmonids
ﬁshes, especially Paciﬁc salmons of the genus
. In recent years, the range of model species
has been expanded. In particular, studies of Atlantic
L. have been accumulating (see
Atlantic salmon has both freashwater and anadro-
mous forms (in northern Russia, the anadromous form
). This species inhabits a wide range,
extending on both sides of the Atlantic. On the North
American coast, the species range extends northwards
N and formerly reached 41
N southwards. At
the other side of the Atlantic, the range of Atlantic
salmon totally covers the European coast (including
Iceland, British Isles, and the Baltic basin) from Portu-
gal to the Kara River, including the coasts of the White
and Barents seas . Atlantic salmon is an important
component of the ecosystem of northern rivers, a valu-
able object of ﬁshery and aquaculture.
Genetic studies of Atlantic salmon have been per-
formed for over 70 years. The earliest work on genetics
of this species was conducted in the Soviet Union by an
associate of the Institute of Genetics, A.A. Prokof’eva-
Bel’govskaya . Since then, hundreds of studies have
been published, but generalization and analysis of the
available evidence are hindered by the language barri-
ers and by remarkable diversity of methodical
approaches employed by researchers.
The authors of earlier reviews focused on comparing
genetic characteristics of different populations [5–10].
Several reviews were devoted to karyotype variability in
Atlantic salmon [11–15]. Recently, a review appeared
summarizing abundant data on allozyme diversity in
this species .
However, studies comparing the results of different
authors using DNA markers of different types in their
population studies are still lacking. Moreover, there are
no theoretical works presenting comparative character-
istics of different methods of analysis, their resolution
power, and ﬁelds of application.
A comprehensive survey of genetic markers, used in
studying Atlantic salmon, is required to include this
species in the category of model organisms for popula-
tion genetic investigation and use the bulk of the accu-
mulated factual data for theoretical generalizations.
The ﬁrst part of the present review* presents data on
karyotype characters and allozymes as markers which
were ﬁrst employed in the early studies of Atlantic
salmon genetics and have been used for decades since
then. Based on them, a number of important facts have
been found in the studies, main results of which are dis-
cussed in the present review.
Resolution ability of karyological analysis is gener-
ally low, and in a number of species of a polyploid ori-
gin this method does not always yield reliable results,
* The second part of the review see in the
Russian Journal of Genet-
, 2007, vol. 43, no. 4.
Genetic Markers in Population Studies
of Atlantic Salmon
Karyotype Characters and Allozymes
V. S. Artamonova
Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119991 Russia;
Received April 18, 2006; in ﬁnal form, October 26, 2006
—The review, which consist of two parts, summarizes literature data on all genetic markers used in
population studies of Atlantic salmon. The ﬁrst part of the review concerns karyotype features and allozyme
. The latter are effectively used for distinguishing populations and subpopulations of
Atlantic salmon, as well as for genetic monitoring of its populations. It is shown that the distribution of alleles
of some allozymes may be related to selection for resistance to certain environmental conditions.