Variability of the major noncoding mitochondrial DNA region of char (Salvelinus alpinus complex) was analyzed by the median network method on the basis of the literature data on nucleotide sequences of this region. A significant portion (21%) of the polymorphic sites of char mtDNA was shown to be evolutionarily unstable, which results in mutation homoplasia at these sites. Using median-joining analysis the chars were divided into three phylogeographical groups: Arctic, Beringian, and chars occurring in the vast region from Lake Baikal and Taimyr Peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean. The latter group includes three subgroups (Siberian, Atlantic, and Acadian), which diverged from a common ancestor. In the Arctic group, the branch of Taranetz char S. taranetzi is clearly separated. It diverged from the common ancestor earlier than S. boganidae andS. elgyticus occurring on the Chukotka Peninsula species and S. a. erythrinus occurring in Alaska. The Beringian group, which includes dolly varden char from various regions of Asia and America, is an intermediate between the two char groups. The main problems of char systematics inferred from the major noncoding mtDNA region variability arise from the high level of mutation homoplasia.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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