Mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals three stocks of yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788) in Indian waters
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Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) is an epipelagic, oceanic species of family Scombridae found in tropical and subtropical region of Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Ocean. It is commercially important fish and accounts for 19 percent of total tuna catches in Indian waters. In present study, population structure of yellowfin tuna was examined using sequence analysis of mitochondrial DNA from seven geographically distinct locations along the Indian coast. A 500 bp segment of D-loop region was sequenced and analysed for 321 yellowfin samples. Hierarchical analysis of molecular variance showed significant genetic differentiation among three groups (VE); (AG); (KO, TU, PO, VI, PB) analyzed (Theta sub(ST)=0.03844, P less than or equal to 0.001). In addition, spatial analysis of molecular variance identified three genetically heterogeneous groups of yellowfin tuna in Indian waters. Results were further corroborated by significant value of nearest neighbour statistic (S sub(nn)=0.261, P less than or equal to 0.001). Thus finding of this study rejects the null hypothesis of single panmictic population of yellowfin tuna in Indian waters.
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