, Volume 650, Issue 1, pp 145–159 | Cite as

Mitochondrial DNA diversity and relationships of endemic charrs of the genus Salvelinus from Lake Kronotskoye (Kamchatka Peninsula)

  • A. G. Oleinik
  • L. A. Skurikhina


Lake Kronotskoye (the Kronotsky Biosphere State Reserve, south-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula) contains three closely related resident morphotypes charrs, which are considered to be either independent species (white charr Salvelinus albus, longhead charr Salvelinus kronocius, Schmidt’s charr Salvelinus schmidti) or a united lacustrine-riverine charrs, represented by several phenotypes. Salvelinus malma malma is isolated from the lake charr populations by an upstream migration barrier in the Kronotskaya River, which flows out of the lake. We examined the level of genetic variability and divergence of mtDNA both between charrs from Kronotsky Lake and between resident lacustrine charrs and the hypothetical ancestor species S. m. malma. The RFLP-PCR analysis was used to examine six regions (ND1/ND2, ND3/ND4L/ND4, ND5/ND6, COI/COII/A8, A8/A6/COIII/ND3, and Cytb/D-loop), comprising ~80% of the mtDNA. Significantly different levels of diversity were found among the populations of lacustrine charrs. S. albus and S. schmidti had the highest indices of mtDNA diversity among the investigated populations from the different habitats. Heterogeneity tests revealed highly significant differentiation among lake populations and among riverine (Kronotskaya River) and lake (Lake Kronotskoye) populations of charrs, indicating their reproductive isolation. Hierarchical analysis of molecular variance revealed the following regularities of diversity distribution: the high proportion of interpopulation variation (93.25%) and low but statistically significant subdivision between charr populations (6.75%, P < 0.001). Results of the present study suggest that the populations of S. albus, S. kronocius, S. schmidti belong to the S. m. malma phylogenetic group. The divergence value of mtDNA of resident charrs (0.0357–0.0010%) does not exceed the intraspecific variability of S. m. malma. The analysis of the mtDNA haplotypes genealogy of charrs showed that the low values of nucleotide divergence reflect a short period from the beginning of divergence from the ancestral lineages and are due to ancestral polymorphism, as well as to haplotype exchange between the diverged phylogenetic groups as a result of introgressive hybridization.


Salvelinus Charr mtDNA RFLP analysis Genetic divergence Sympatric populations 



The authors are deeply grateful to S. V. Frolov (IMB FEB RAS) for long-term cooperation in the study of charrs of the genus Salvelinus, including collection, taxonomic determination of the material, and discussion of the results. We thank two anonymous reviewers, whose comments and remarks also improved the manuscript. The material from the Lake Kronotskoye basin was collected by S. V. Frolov (grant FEB RAS No. 03-3-E-06-031) and N. S. Romanov under the agreement on scientific cooperation between IMB FEB RAS and the Kronotskiy State Biosphere Reserve. The study was performed with financial support from the Presidium of RAS (projects 06-I-P10-015, 06-I-P11-025), as well as the Russian Foundation for Basic Research of the Russian Academy of Science (grants 98-04-4819, 00-04-63057).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine BiologyFar Eastern Branch Russian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia

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