The genetic relationships between several French Atlantic populations of brown trout were analysed using polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequencing of two parts of the mitochondrial control region. Ten mitochondrial haplotypes were identified, separated by a small number of mutations. The distribution of these haplotypes confirmed our hypothesis of the existence of two genetically well-differentiated groups of populations in this area, which has already been suggested using nuclear markers. Nuclear and mitochondrial markers, however, show different patterns of genetic differentiation: some populations which belong to one group according to allozyme results appear to be part of the other when using mitochondrial DNA. The origin of these different forms is discussed; they seem to belong to the Atlantic grouping. Nevertheless, the hypothesis of an ancestral and a modern form suggested for northern populations does not appear valid in this particular case.
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