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Genetica. 2001;111(1-3):25-41.

Combining the analyses of introgressive hybridisation and linkage mapping to investigate the genetic architecture of population divergence in the lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis, Mitchill).

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Groupe interuniversitaire de recherches oceanographiques du Québec (GIROQ), Département de Biologie, Université Laval, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada.


Adaptation and reproductive isolation, the engines of biological diversity, are still elusive when discussing the genetic bases of speciation. Namely, the number of genes and magnitude of selection acting positively or negatively on genomic traits implicated in speciation is contentious. Here, we describe the first steps of an ongoing research program aimed at understanding the genetic bases of population divergence and reproductive isolation in the lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). A preliminary linkage map originating from a hybrid cross between dwarf and normal ecotypes is presented, whereby some of the segregating AFLP markers were found to be conserved among natural populations. Maximum-likelihood was used to estimate hybrid indices from non-diagnostic markers at 998 AFLP loci. This allowed identification of the most likely candidate loci that have been under the influence of selection during the natural hybridisation of whitefish originating from different glacial races. As some of these loci could be identified on the linkage map, the possibility that selection of traits in natural populations may eventually be correlated to specific chromosomal regions was demonstrated. The future prospects and potential of these approaches to elucidate the genetic bases of adaptation and reproductive isolation among sympatric ecotypes of lake whitefish is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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