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Mitochondrial DNA evidence for high levels of gene flow among populations of a widely distributed anadromous lamprey Entosphenus tridentatus (Petromyzontidae)

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Mitochondrial DNA variation among 1246 individuals of Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) from 81 populations spanning 2600 km from the Skeena River, British Columbia, to the Ventura River, California, was surveyed using five restriction enzymes. A total of 29 composite haplotypes was detected in two gene fragments (ND2 and ND5). The three most common haplotypes, occurring in 91% of all samples, were present at similar frequencies in all regions. Samples were divided into six biogeographic regions based on sample distribution and geographical landmarks to assess geographic genetic structure. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that 99% of the genetic variation was explained by variability within drainages. The lack of geographical population structure is likely related to a life-history pattern that includes a prolonged larval freshwater stage, migration to oceanic feeding and return to fresh water to spawn. The lack of strong natal homing apparently promotes gene flow among drainages and regions.

Keywords: Entosphenus tridentatus; Lampetra tridentata; Pacific lamprey; genetic variation; mitochondrial DNA; phylogeography

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Western Fishes, 2045 East Main Street, Ashland, OR 97520, USA 2: Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220, USA 3: Department of Fisheries Biology, Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521, USA

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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