There are many unresolved problems in salmonid systematics, both at the interspecific and sub‐specific levels. Some of the major systematic problems in the subfamily Salmoninae are briefly reviewed along with the available molecular methods for their analysis. Nuclear DNA markers available for use in molecular systematics include localized and dispersed highly repetitive DNA sequences, moderately repetitive sequences such as the ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA), and single copy DNA sequences. Both coding and non‐coding sequences can be examined in the rDNA and single copy DNA. The rDNA is especially suitable for use in phylogenetic analysis, since different regions evolve at different rates and can be used for comparisons at different taxonomic levels. Comparison of restriction maps of the entire rDNA repeating unit in 17 salmonid species from Hucho. Sahelinus, Salmo and Oncorhynchus has shown that the transcribed spacer regions are the most informative for interspecific comparisons and that the intergenic spacer has potential for use in intraspecific comparisons. Our current approach is to amplify selected regions from each of these spacers for analysis by DNA sequencing. DNA sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacers should be very informative in elucidating interspecific relationships in Salvelinus and Oncorhynchus. Analysis of a hypervariable region in the intergenic spacer has potential for identification of geographically separated stocks. The relative utility of different types of nuclear DNA sequences for identification of stocks and subspecies is examined.
Journal of Fish Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1991
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