Genetic differentiation of Alaska Chinook salmon: the missing link for migratory studies

Authors

  • WILLIAM D. TEMPLIN,

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    • Present address: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

  • JAMES E. SEEB,

    1. School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
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    • Present address: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

  • JAMES R. JASPER,

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    • Present address: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

  • ANDREW W. BARCLAY,

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    • Present address: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

  • LISA W. SEEB

    1. School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Present address: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA


William D. Templin, Fax: (907) 267-2442; E-mail: bill.templin@alaska.gov

Abstract

Most information about Chinook salmon genetic diversity and life history originates from studies from the West Coast USA, western Canada and southeast Alaska; less is known about Chinook salmon from western and southcentral Alaska drainages. Populations in this large area are genetically distinct from populations to the south and represent an evolutionary legacy of unique genetic, phenotypic and life history diversity. More genetic information is necessary to advance mixed stock analysis applications for studies involving these populations. We assembled a comprehensive, open-access baseline of 45 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 172 populations ranging from Russia to California. We compare SNP data from representative populations throughout the range with particular emphasis on western and southcentral Alaska. We grouped populations into major lineages based upon genetic and geographic characteristics, evaluated the resolution for identifying the composition of admixtures and performed mixed stock analysis on Chinook salmon caught incidentally in the walleye pollock fishery in the Bering Sea. SNP data reveal complex genetic structure within Alaska and can be used in applications to address not only regional issues, but also migration pathways, bycatch studies on the high seas, and potential changes in the range of the species in response to climate change.

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