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Genetic divergence of a sympatric lake-resident–anadromous three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus species pair


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The genetic relationship between sympatric, morphologically divergent populations of anadromous and lake-resident three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus in the Jim Creek drainage of Cook Inlet, Alaska, was examined using microsatellite loci and mitochondrial d-loop sequence data. Resident samples differed substantially from sympatric anadromous samples in the Jim Creek drainage with the magnitude of the genetic divergence being similar to that between allopatric resident and anadromous populations in other areas. Resident samples were genetically similar within the Jim Creek drainage, as were the anadromous samples surveyed. Neighbour-joining and Structure cluster analysis grouped the samples into four genetic clusters by ecomorph (anadromous v. all resident) and geographic location of the resident samples (Jim Creek, Mat-Su and Kenai). There was no evidence of hybridization between resident and anadromous G. aculeatus in the Jim Creek drainage, which thus appear to be reproductively isolated.