Author(s): Palumbi SR, Baker CS
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Abstract Powerful analyses of population structure require information from multiple genetic loci. To help develop a molecular toolbox for obtaining this information, we have designed universal oligonucleotide primers that span conserved intron-exon junctions in a wide variety of animal phyla. We test the utility of exon-primed, intron-crossing amplifications by analyzing the variability of actin intron sequences from humpback, blue, and bowhead whales and comparing the results with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype data. Humpback actin introns fall into two major clades that exist in different frequencies in different oceanic populations. It is surprising that Hawaii and California populations, which are very distinct in mtDNAs, are similar in actin intron alleles. This discrepancy between mtDNA and nuclear DNA results may be due either to differences in genetic drift in mitochondrial and nuclear genes or to preferential movement of males, which do not transmit mtDNA to offspring, between separate breeding grounds. Opposing mtDNA and nuclear DNA results can help clarify otherwise hidden patterns of structure in natural populations.
This article was published in Mol Biol Evol
and referenced in Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development