, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp 533-539

Genetic homogeneity of krill (Euphausia superba Dana) in the Southern Ocean

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Summary

Development of a comprehensive picture of the genetic population structure of the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been hampered by a lack of genetic data from two major areas of the species' distribution, the Bellingshausen Sea and the Ross Sea. Evidence from earlier studies of a discrete “Bellingshausen Sea” population was based on anomalous allele frequencies in two sample sets that were collected near the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula rather than in the Bellingshausen Sea proper. In this paper we describe the first biochemical genetic data obtained on krill from the central Bellingshausen Sea and from the Ross Sea. Analyses of eight polymorphic loci in samples from these two areas have failed to provide any evidence of population structuring within the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, and have indicated that Pacific sector krill cannot be genetically discriminated from Atlantic sector krill or Indian Ocean sector krill. These findings further support the hypothesis of a single circumpolar breeding population of Antarctic krill.