[MARMAM] New publication - T. truncatus worldwide genetic diversity

Gabriela de Tezanos Pinto gdet002 at ec.auckland.ac.nz
Wed May 21 15:52:32 PDT 2008

Dear colleagues,

The following paper was recently published online:

A Worldwide Perspective on the Population Structure and Genetic Diversity of
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in New Zealand. Journal of Heredity,

PDF available in the Journal of Heredity website:

Or upon request: g.tezanospinto at auckland.ac.nz

Authors: Gabriela Tezanos-Pinto, Charles Scott Baker, Kirsty Russell, Karen
Martien, Robin W. Baird, Alistair Hutt, Gregory Stone, Antonio A.
Mignucci-Giannoni, Susana Caballero, Tetusya Endo, Shane Lavery, Marc Oremus,
Carlos Olavarría and Claire Garrigue.

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) occupy a wide range of coastal and
pelagic habitats throughout tropical and temperate waters worldwide. In some
regions, "inshore" and "offshore" forms or ecotypes differ genetically and
morphologically, despite no obvious boundaries to interchange. Around New
Zealand, bottlenose dolphins inhabit 3 coastal regions: Northland, Marlborough
Sounds, and Fiordland. Previous demographic studies showed no interchange of
individuals among these populations. Here, we describe the genetic structure
and diversity of these populations using skin samples collected with a remote
biopsy dart. Analysis of the molecular variance from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
control region sequences (n = 193) showed considerable differentiation among
populations (FST = 0.17, ST = 0.21, P < 0.001) suggesting little or no female
gene flow or interchange. All 3 populations showed higher mtDNA diversity than
expected given their small population sizes and isolation. To explain the
source of this variation, 22 control region haplotypes from New Zealand were
compared with 108 haplotypes worldwide representing 586 individuals from 19
populations and including both inshore and offshore ecotypes as described in
the Western North Atlantic. All haplotypes found in the Pacific, regardless of
population habitat use (i.e., coastal or pelagic), are more divergent from
populations described as inshore ecotype in the Western North Atlantic than
from populations described as offshore ecotype. Analysis of gene flow indicated
long-distance dispersal among coastal and pelagic populations worldwide (except
for those haplotypes described as inshore ecotype in the Western North
Atlantic), suggesting that these populations are interconnected on an
evolutionary timescale. This finding suggests that habitat specialization has
occurred independently in different ocean basins, perhaps with Tursiops aduncus
filling the ecological niche of the inshore ecotype in some coastal regions of
the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.

Best regards,

Gabriela de Tezanos Pinto
PhD Candidate
Population Genetics & Evolution Lab
The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019, Auckland
New Zealand
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