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Mitochondrial phylogeography of a Beringian relict: the endemic freshwater genus of blackfish Dallia (Esociformes)


  • M. A. Campbell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology and Wildlife, 101 Murie Building, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 982 N. Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, U.S.A.
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  • J. A. Lopéz

    1. University of Alaska Museum, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, U.S.A.
    2. Fisheries Division, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 905 N. Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, U.S.A.
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Mitochondrial genetic variability among populations of the blackfish genus Dallia (Esociformes) across Beringia was examined. Levels of divergence and patterns of geographic distribution of mitochondrial DNA lineages were characterized using phylogenetic inference, median-joining haplotype networks, Bayesian skyline plots, mismatch analysis and spatial analysis of molecular variance (SAMOVA) to infer genealogical relationships and to assess patterns of phylogeography among extant mitochondrial lineages in populations of species of Dallia. The observed variation includes extensive standing mitochondrial genetic diversity and patterns of distinct spatial segregation corresponding to historical and contemporary barriers with minimal or no mixing of mitochondrial haplotypes between geographic areas. Mitochondrial diversity is highest in the common delta formed by the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers where they meet the Bering Sea. Other regions sampled in this study host comparatively low levels of mitochondrial diversity. The observed levels of mitochondrial diversity and the spatial distribution of that diversity are consistent with persistence of mitochondrial lineages in multiple refugia through the last glacial maximum.