The results of examining mtDNA variability in populations of chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta from the rivers of the basins of the seas of Japan and Okhotsk and in the chum salmon seasonal races of the Amur River are presented. A significant level of polymorphism between the majority of the populations studied was detected. The groups of chum salmon from the seas of Japan and Okhotsk displayed the most pronounced differences. Analysis of genetic variability demonstrated that periodic paleontologic and climatic changes in the past of this region were the most probable factor that caused the divergence of these populations. The advances and retreats of glaciers and the accompanying regressions and transgressions of the ocean level caused isolation of chum salmon in the refugia belonging hypothetically to the paleo-Shuifen and paleo-Amur regions. These population groups diverged presumably 350–450 thousand years ago. Differences between the seasonal races of the Amur chum salmon are insignificant, and their emergence dates back to the period of the last Wisconsinian glaciation. Probably, the main isolation factor now is the genetically determined time of spawning.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2006
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