We investigated polymorphisms in the pantophysin gene (Pan I locus) in a population of Northeast Arctic cod, Gadus morhua L., throughout its foraging area in the Barents Sea and adjacent waters. Correlations between the frequencies of Pan I alleles and habitat conditions, such as depth and temperature, were explored. This study was based on a large number of specimens (2210 individuals) of different age and wide geographic sampling coverage. The frequency of the Pan IA allele, a known genetic marker of coastal cod, varied from zero to 0.47. Allele frequencies correlated with depth at the sampling location but not with bottom water temperatures. We observed variations in Pan IA frequencies among different age cohorts from the same area. The most prominent shift in Pan I polymorphism was detected at the early stages of the fish life cycle, between pelagic juveniles and benthic cod. We found that the Pan IA allele frequency in pelagic yearling cod was essentially same throughout the studied areas in the Barents Sea. In turn, juveniles settling at the northern and deep water locations showed a significant decrease in the allele frequency. In contrast, the frequency of the Pan IA allele remained constant in juveniles settling in shallow waters when compared to the pelagic stage. These results confirm the selective nature of the cod Pan I locus and indicate that selection process acting on individuals with different genotypes at the Pan I locus leads to the formation of a stable spatial distribution of allele frequencies observed in adult cod.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 21, 2014
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