[MARMAM] New publication: Mitogenomic phylogenetics of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus spp.): genetic evidence for revision of subspecies

Eric Archer - NOAA Federal eric.archer at noaa.gov
Tue May 21 16:33:32 PDT 2013

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper:

Archer FI, Morin PA, Hancock-Hanser BL, Robertson KM, Leslie MS, Bérubé M,
Panigada S, Taylor, BL (2013) Mitogenomic Phylogenetics of Fin Whales
(Balaenoptera physalus spp.): Genetic Evidence for Revision of Subspecies.
PLoS ONE 8(5): e63396. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063396

available online at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063396

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Eric Archer


There are three described subspecies of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus):
B. p. physalus Linnaeus, 1758 in the Northern Hemisphere, B. p. quoyi
Fischer, 1829 in the Southern Hemisphere, and a recently described pygmy
form, B. p. patachonica Burmeister, 1865. The discrete distribution in the
North Pacific and North Atlantic raises the question of whether a single
Northern Hemisphere subspecies is valid. We assess phylogenetic patterns
using ~16 K base pairs of the complete mitogenome for 154 fin whales from
the North Pacific, North Atlantic - including the Mediterranean Sea - and
Southern Hemisphere. A Bayesian tree of the resulting 136 haplotypes
revealed several well-supported clades representing each ocean basin, with
no haplotypes shared among ocean basins. The North Atlantic haplotypes (n =
12) form a sister clade to those from the Southern Hemisphere (n = 42). The
estimated time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) for this
Atlantic/Southern Hemisphere clade and 81 of the 97 samples from the North
Pacific was approximately 2 Ma. 14 of the remaining North Pacific samples
formed a well-supported clade within the Southern Hemisphere. The TMRCA for
this node suggests that at least one female from the Southern Hemisphere
immigrated to the North Pacific approximately 0.37 Ma. These results
provide strong evidence that North Pacific and North Atlantic fin whales
should not be considered the same subspecies, and suggest the need for
revision of the global taxonomy of the species.


Eric Archer, Ph.D.
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037 USA
858-546-7121 (work)
858-546-7003 (FAX)

Marine Mammal Genetics Group: swfsc.noaa.gov/prd-mmgenetics
ETP Cetacean Assessment Program: swfsc.noaa.gov/prd-etp

"The universe doesn't care what you believe.
 The wonderful thing about science is that it
   doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks
   for your eyes."  - Randall Munroe

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
   - Benjamin Franklin

   "...but I'll take a GPS over either one."
       - John C. "Craig" George
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20130521/f2769b5d/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list