Phylogeography and sympatric differentiation of the Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.) complex in Siberia as revealed by mtDNA sequence analysis


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Sequence variation in the mtDNA control region of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and Dolly Varden Salvelinus malma from 56 Siberian and North American populations was analysed to assess their phylogeographic relationships and the origins of sympatric forms. Phylogenetic trees confirm the integrity of phylogroups reported in previous mtDNA studies except that the Siberian group does not separate as a single cluster. Haplotype network analysis indicates the proximity of Siberian and Atlantic haplotypes. These are considered as one Eurasian group represented by the Atlantic, east Siberian (interior Siberia including Transbaikalia, Taimyr) and Eurosiberian (Finland, Spitsbergen, Taimyr) sub-groups. Salvelinus alpinus with presumably introgressed Bering group (malma) haplotypes were found along eastern Siberian coasts up to the Olenek Bay and the Lena Delta region, where they overlap with the Eurasian group and in the easternmost interior region. It is proposed that Siberia was colonized by S. alpinus in two stages: from the west by the Eurasian group and later from the east by the Bering group. The high diversity of Eurasian group haplotypes in Siberia indicates its earlier colonization by S. alpinus as compared with the European Alps. This colonization was rapid, proceeded from a diverse gene pool, and was followed by differential survival of ancestral mtDNA lineages in different basins and regions, and local mutational events in isolated populations. The results presented here support a northern origin of Transbaikalian S. alpinus, the dispersion of S. alpinus to the Lake Baikal Basin from the Lena Basin, segregation of S. alpinus between Lena tributaries and their restricted migration over the divides between sub-basins. These results also support sympatric origin of intralacustrine forms of S. alpinus.