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Pronounced genetic structure of mitochondrial DNA among populations of the circumglobally distributed grey mullet (Mugil cephalus)


Mitochondrial (ml) DNA genotypes of grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) from ocean basins around the world were analysed to estimate the amount of genetic differentiation in this cosmopolitan but mostly coastally‐restricted species. Extensive genetic diversity was observed. Among 115 specimens from nine locales, 26 different haplotypes were detected using a battery of 13 restriction endonucleases. In phenetic analyses, these haplotypes grouped into seven distinct clusters whose members were in almost perfect accord with the geographic sources of the samples. Thus contemporary gene flow between the widespread collection locales must be absent or nearly so. Results contrast with the relative uniformity in mtDNA composition previously reported for populations of some circumglobally distributed pelagic fishes, and demonstrate that certain marine fishes with cosmopolitan distributions can exhibit pronounced population genetic structure even in the face of morphological conservatism. Copyright © 1994, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

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