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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Patterns of genetic variability at individual minisatellite loci in minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata populations from three different oceans.

The genetic variability at six cloned minisatellite loci was analyzed in minke whale populations from the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans. Three loci displayed only a few different alleles in each of the three populations, with heterozygosity ranging from 0.00 to 0.47, and three loci revealed many different alleles in at least two fo the three populations, with heterozygosity ranging up to 0.98. Using small sample sizes, samples from two adjacent Antarctic Management Areas were not found to differ significantly in allele frequencies at any of the six loci. The use of principal coordinate analysis to detect multilocus disequilibria was explored. No significant evidence was found of intrapopulation heterogeneity within the pooled Antarctic sample. Pronounced interoceanic differences were observed at every locus, confirming the existence of genetic isolation found earlier using more conventional marker systems. The populations from the three oceans appear to have diverged to such a degree that the hypervariable loci have had time to evolve independently and arrive at different evolutionary stages in different populations. The frequency of undetected "null" alleles is remarkably high in minke whale populations compared to human populations and is probably a result of the cloning protocol used. Minisatellite loci are shown to provide a powerful population genetic tool, supplying levels of resolution appropriate to different degrees of evolutionary divergence.[1]


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