, Volume 69, Issue 1-4, pp 37-50

Genetic Population Structure of Chum Salmon in the Pacific Rim Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation

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We examined the genetic population structure of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, in the Pacific Rim using mitochondrial (mt) DNA analysis. Nucleotide sequence analysis of about 500 bp in the variable portion of the 5′ end of the mtDNA control region revealed 20 variable nucleotide sites, which defined 30 haplotypes of three genealogical clades (A, B, and C), in more than 2,100 individuals of 48 populations from Japan (16), Korea (1), Russia (10), and North America (21 from Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington). The observed haplotypes were mostly associated with geographic regions, in that clade A and C haplotypes characterized Asian populations and clade B haplotypes distinguished North American populations. The haplotype diversity was highest in the Japanese populations, suggesting a greater genetic variation in the populations of Japan than those of Russia and North America. The analysis of molecular variance and contingency χ2 tests demonstrated strong structuring among the three geographic groups of populations and weak to moderate structuring within Japanese and North American populations. These results suggest that the observed geographic pattern might be influenced primarily by historic expansions or colonizations and secondarily by low or restricted gene flow between local groups within regions. In addition to the analysis of population structure, mtDNA data may be useful for constructing a baseline for stock identification of mixed populations of high seas chum salmon.