Tetraploidy and the Evolution of Salmonid Fishes

  • Fred W. Allendorf
  • Gary H. Thorgaard
Part of the Monographs in Evolutionary Biology book series (MEBI)


Polyploidy has long been recognized to have played an important role in the evolution of plant species (Lewis, 1980). However, polyploidy has only recently been recognized as a potentially important process in the evolution of vertebrates (Ohno, 1974; Fisher et al.,1980; Bogart, 1980; Schultz, 1980). Mammals and birds generally possess more DNA per cell than do fish and other chordates. This observation and the existence of many duplicated gene loci have led Ohno and co-workers (Ohno,1967, 1970a, 1974; Ohno et al., 1968) to propose that genome doubling has taken place at least once in the evolution of vertebrates. One tetraploid event apparently took place about 500 million years (Myr) ago in a common ancestor of all vertebrates. Fisher et al. (1980) describe isozyme studies that are consistent with this idea. Other tetraploid events may have taken place in major lineages of vertebrate evolution, possibly including a genome doubling in a reptilian ancestor of mammals (Ohno, 1967; Comings, 1972).


Rainbow Trout Atlantic Salmon Brown Trout Brook Trout Salmonid Species 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred W. Allendorf
    • 1
  • Gary H. Thorgaard
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MontanaMissoulaUSA
  2. 2.Program in Genetics and Cell BiologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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