• control region;
  • genetic variability;
  • mitochondrial DNA;
  • nucleotide sequence;
  • rockfish

ABSTRACT: Sequence variability of the control region of mitochondrial DNA in five Sebastes species (S. thompsoni, S. joyneri, S. inermis, S. schlegeli and S. owstoni) was investigated. Of 324 nucleotide sites in the control region of S. thompsoni, 56 sites (17.3%) varied, and all 20 individuals had different haplotypes. The other four species had between five and 17 sites (1.5–5.9%), which was fewer than that observed in S. thompsoni. The nucleotide diversity of S. thompsoni was highest (3.45%) among the five species, and that of S. schlegeli was the lowest (0.19%). The results demonstrated that sequence variability exists in the control region of the five Sebastes fishes investigated, and that sequence data in the control region may be suitable for stock structure analysis. Also, the extent of genetic variablitiy in the control region differed among these species. In particular, the mitochondrial DNA control region in S. thompsoni was characterized by high sequence variability, which may indicate a large effective population size.