Rapid genetic identification of brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), black bullhead (Ameiurus melas) and their hybrids
Hybridization can complicate the effective conservation of cryptic and morphologically similar species. Here we provide a rapid genetic method for the identification of pure-strain brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) and black bullhead (Ameiurus melas) using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism assays. We confirm earlier reports of introgressive hybridization among A. nebulosus and A. melas in Lake Erie, and reveal the presence of introgressed hybrids in Detroit River. Our method provides a prime example of the utility of internet-based genetic databases for the development of molecular tools in biological and environmental research, and suggests hybridization plays a larger role in the genetic structure of bullheads.
KeywordsSpecies markers Hybrids SNPs RFLPs
We thank Mary Burridge and colleagues at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for providing tissue samples for voucher A. melas samples, Vicki Blazer (USGS) for Chesapeake samples, and Jim Grazio for Presque Isle Bay samples.
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