[MARMAM] New paper on false killer whale genetic structure

Karen Martien - NOAA Federal karen.martien at noaa.gov
Tue May 20 14:08:54 PDT 2014

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

Martien, K.K., S.J. Chivers, R.W. Baird, F.I. Archer, A.M. Gorgone, B.L.
Hancock-Hanser, D. Mattila, D.J. McSweeney, E.M. Oleson, C. Palmer, V.L.
Pease, K.M. Robertson, G.S. Schorr, M.B. Schultz, D.L. Webster, B.L.
Taylor.  2014.  Nuclear and mitochondrial patterns of population structure
in North Pacific false killer whales (*Pseudorca crassidens*).  Journal of
Heredity.  doi: 10.1093/jhered/esu029.

Abstract:  False killer whales (*Pseudorca crassidens*) are large
Delphinids typically found in deep water far offshore.  However, in the
Hawaiian Archipelago there are two resident island-associated populations
of false killer whales, one in the waters around the main Hawaiian Islands
(MHI) and one in the waters around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
(NWHI).  We use mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences and
genotypes from 16 nuclear (nucDNA) microsatellite loci from 206 individuals
to examine levels of differentiation among the two island-associated
populations and offshore animals from the central and eastern North
Pacific.  Both mtDNA and nucDNA exhibit highly significant differentiation
between populations, confirming limited gene flow in both sexes.  The mtDNA
haplotypes exhibit a strong pattern of phylogeographic concordance, with
island-associated populations sharing three closely related haplotypes not
found elsewhere in the Pacific.  However, nucDNA data suggests that NWHI
animals are at least as differentiated from MHI animals as they are from
offshore animals.  The patterns of differentiation revealed by the two
marker types suggest that the island-associated false killer whale
populations likely share a common colonization history, but have limited
contemporary gene flow.

Reprints are available from the senior author (Karen.Martien at noaa.gov) or
from the Cascadia Research Collective website (

Karen K. Martien, Ph.D.
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
Phone: 858-546-7058
Fax: 858-546-7003
Karen.Martien at noaa.gov
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