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Genetic analysis of tuna populations, Thunnus thynnus thynnus and T. alalunga
Pujolar, J.M.; Roldan, M.I.; Pla, C. (2003). Genetic analysis of tuna populations, Thunnus thynnus thynnus and T. alalunga. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 143(3): 613-621. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-003-1080-1
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, meer
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  • Pujolar, J.M.
  • Roldan, M.I.
  • Pla, C.

Abstract
    The genetic population structures of Atlantic northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus) and albacore (T. alalunga) were examined using allozyme analysis. A total of 822 Atlantic northern bluefin tuna from 18 different samples (16 Mediterranean, 1 East Atlantic, 1 West Atlantic) and 188 albacore from 5 samples (4 Mediterranean, 1 East Atlantic) were surveyed for genetic variation in 37 loci. Polymorphism and heterozygosity reveal a moderate level of genetic variability, with only two highly polymorphic loci in both Atlantic northern bluefin tuna (FH* and SOD-1*) and albacore (GPI-3* and XDH*). The level of population differentiation found for Atlantic northern bluefin tuna and albacore fits the pattern that has generally been observed in tunas, with genetic differences on a broad rather than a more local scale. For Atlantic northern bluefin tuna, no spatial or temporal genetic heterogeneity was observed within the Mediterranean Sea or between the East Atlantic and Mediterranean, indicating the existence of a single genetic grouping on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean. Very limited genetic differentiation was found between West Atlantic and East Atlantic/Mediterranean northern bluefin tuna, mainly due to an inversion of SOD-1* allele frequencies. Regarding albacore, no genetic heterogeneity was observed within the Mediterranean Sea or between Mediterranean and Azores samples, suggesting the existence of a single gene pool in this area.

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