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Extensive genetic differentiation in Gobiomorphus breviceps from New Zealand

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Partial mitochondrial DNA sequences for parts of the cytochrome b gene and control region were obtained for 89 upland bullies Gobiomorphus breviceps from 19 catchments in New Zealand. There were two highly distinctive mtDNA clades: a northern clade corresponding to the North Island, northern South Island and west coast South Island, and a south‐east clade, in the southern and eastern South Island. Within these major clades there were further distinct clades that correlated with geographic sub‐regions and catchments. The marked genetic differentiation has occurred in the absence of obvious morphological divergence. Based on cytochrome b sequence divergences and the molecular clock hypothesis, the northern and southeastern clades correspond with the uplift of the Southern Alps during the Pliocene, while populations in the North Island and northern South Island were estimated to have diverged during the Pleistocene. The widescale geographic divergences were similar to those observed in the galaxiids, Galaxias vulgaris and Galaxias divergens, but biogeographic management boundaries may not be the same, reflecting different evolutionary histories for non‐diadromous species occupying the same areas.

Keywords: Gobiomorphus breviceps; Gobiomorphus cotidianus; New Zealand; bullies; mitochondrial DNA

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd, Private Bag 14 901, Wellington, New Zealand and 2: Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, P. O. Box 3341, Wellington, New Zealand

Publication date: September 1, 2005


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