Effects of natural selection on patterns of DNA sequence variation at the transferrin, somatolactin, and p53 genes within and among chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) populations


  • Michael J. Ford

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    1. National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Conservation Biology Division, 2725 Montlake Blvd. E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
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M. J. Ford. Fax: +206 860 3335; E-mail:mike.ford@noaa.gov


This paper describes DNA sequence variation within and among four populations of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) at the transferrin, somatolactin and p53 genes. Patterns of variation among salmon species at the transferrin gene have been hypothesized to be shaped by positive natural selection for new alleles because the rate of nonsynonymous substitution is significantly greater than the rate of synonymous substitution. The twin goals of this study were to determine if the history of selection among salmon species at the transferrin gene is also reflected in patterns of intraspecific variation in chinook salmon, and to look for evidence of local adaptation at the transferrin gene by comparing patterns of nonsynonymous and synonymous variation among chinook salmon populations. The analyses presented here show that unlike patterns of variation between species, there is no evidence of greater differentiation among chinook salmon populations at nonsynonymous compared to synonymous sites. There is also no evidence of a reduction of within-species variation due to the hitchhiking effect at the transferrin gene, although in some populations nonsynonymous and synonymous derived mutations are both at higher frequencies than expected under a simple neutral model. Population size weighted selection coefficients (4Ns) that are consistent with both the inter and intraspecific data range from ~10 to ~235, and imply that between 1 and 40% of new nonsynonymous mutations at the transferrin gene have been beneficial.