Population Genetic Structure of the Spotted Wolffish, Anarhichas minor, in the North Atlantic
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The genetic population structure of spotted wolffish Anarhichas minor (Olafsen) in the North Atlantic was investigated by allozyme electrophoresis and by PCR based RFLP variation in mtDNA. Samples were collected from five sites distributed across the North Atlantic and from second generation Norwegian broodstock. The present data demonstrates that significant differences exist between almost all sampling sites, indicating biologically different groups of individuals, and thus the existence of different management populations of spotted wolffish in the North Atlantic. Overall, the data indicated that isolation by distance is weak among spotted wolffish at the geographic scale investigated in this study, suggesting that gene flow between neighbouring spotted wolffish populations is low. The present study demonstrates a high level of geographic population structure between the western Atlantic, middle and eastern Atlantic and Baltic Sea, and thus, the findings should be useful in devising overall management and conservation strategies for the species.