[MARMAM] Recent paper: Evidence of unidirectional hybridization and second‐generation adult hybrid between the two largest animals on Earth, the fin and blue whales

Sverrir Daníel Halldórsson sverrir.daniel.halldorsson at hafogvatn.is
Mon Apr 26 09:30:42 PDT 2021


Dear MARMAM-ers

On behalf of the team I am pleased to announce a recent publication on hybridization between Fin and Blue whales in Evolutionary Applications<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eva.13091>

Evidence of unidirectional hybridization and second‐generation adult hybrid between the two largest animals on Earth, the fin and blue whales

Christophe Pampoulie; Davíð Gíslason; Guðbjörg Ólafsdóttir; Valérie Chosson; Sverrir Daníel Halldórsson; Stefano Mariani; Bjarki Þ. Elvarsson; Marianne H. Rasmussen; Maria R. Iversen; Anna Kristín Daníelsdóttir; Gísli A. Víkingsson

Abstract
Biodiversity in the oceans has dramatically declined since the beginning of the indus-trial era, with accelerated loss of marine biodiversity impairing the ocean's capacity to maintain vital ecosystem services. A few organisms epitomize the damaging and long-lasting effects of anthropogenic exploitation: Some whale species, for instance, were brought to the brink of extinction, with their population sizes reduced to such low levels that may have caused a significant disruption to their reproductive dynam-ics  and  facilitated  hybridization  events.  The  incidence  of  hybridization  is  neverthe-less believed to be rare, and very little information exists on its directionality. Here, using  genetic  markers,  we  show  that  all  but  one  whale  hybrid  sample  collected  in  Icelandic waters originated from the successful mating of male fin whale and female blue  whale,  thus  suggesting  unidirectional  hybridization.  We  also  demonstrate  for  the first time the existence of a second-generation adult (male) hybrid resulting from a  backcross  between  a  female  hybrid  and  a  pure  male  fin  whale.  The  incidence  of  hybridization  events  between  fin  and  blue  whales  is  likely  underestimated  and  the  observed unidirectional hybridization (for F1 and F2 hybrids) is likely to induce a re-productive  loss  in  blue  whale,  which  may  represent  an  additional  challenge  to  its  recovery in the Atlantic Ocean compared to other rorquals


The paper is available for open-access download:
https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13091

Please correspond to:
christophe.s.pampoulie at hafogvatn.is<mailto:christophe.s.pampoulie at hafogvatn.is>
Christophe Pampoulie
Marine and Freshwater Research Institute
Fornubúðir 5
220 Hafnarfjörður
Iceland


--
Sverrir Daníel Halldórsson
líffræðingur, hvalarannsóknum Uppsjávarsviðs
Hafrannsóknastofnun - rannsókna og ráðgjafastofnun hafs og vatna
Fornubúðir 5, IS 220-Hafnarfjörður
Ísland

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