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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2019 Feb 13;135:86-97. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.02.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) mitogenomics: A cautionary tale of defining sub-species from mitochondrial sequence monophyly.

Author information

1
Marine Evolution and Conservation, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: andrea_ca_gt@yahoo.com.
2
Marine Evolution and Conservation, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands.
3
Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences and Institute of Biodiversity Research (IRbio), Faculty of Biology, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
4
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation, 717 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA.
5
Marine and Freshwater Research Centre, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland; Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Merchant's Quay, Kilrush, County Clare V15 E762, Ireland.
6
Museum of National History, FO-100 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.
7
Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos e Bioindicadores, Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rua São Francisco Xavier 524, Maracanã, 20550-013, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
8
Laboratório de Ecologia e Conservação da Megafauna Marinha, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Av. Itália km 8, Campus Carreiros, Rio Grande RS 96203-000, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
9
Conservation, Information and Research on Cetaceans, Cabeza de Manzaneda 3, Pelayo, Algeciras 11390, Cádiz, Spain.
10
Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown, MA 02657, United States.
11
Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, c/o Box 570, Kivioq 2, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland; Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
12
Society for Study of Cetaceans in the Canary Archipelago, Avenida Coll 6, (Casa de Los Arroyo) 35500 Arrecife de, Lanzarote - Islas Canarias, Spain.
13
National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center/NOAA, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98115, United States.
14
Marine Mammals Research Group, Institute of Marine Research, C. Sundtsgate 64, P. O. Box 1870 Nordnes, Bergen N-5817, Norway.
15
Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Skúlagata 4, 121 Reykjavík, Iceland.
16
Tethys Research Institute, c/o Acquario Civico, Viale G.B. Gadio 2, 20121 Milano, Italy.
17
Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre and Centre of the Institute of Marine Research of the University of the Azores, R. Frederico Machado 4, 9901-862 Horta, Portugal.
18
Mingan Island Cetacean Study Inc., 285 Green St, Saint-Lambert, Québec J4P 1T3, Canada.
19
Marine and Freshwater Research Centre, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland; Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Merchant's Quay, Kilrush, County Clare V15 E762, Ireland; Song of the Whale Research Team, Marine Conservation Research International, 94 High Street, Kelvedon, Essex CO5 9AA, United Kingdom.
20
Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre and Centre of the Institute of Marine Research of the University of the Azores, R. Frederico Machado 4, 9901-862 Horta, Portugal; Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, United States.
21
Departamento de Ciencias Marinas y Costeras, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz 23080, B.C.S., Mexico.
22
Woods Hole MA Laboratory, Northeast Fisheries Science Center NMFS/NOAA, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, United States.
23
Marine Evolution and Conservation, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands; Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown, MA 02657, United States. Electronic address: palsboll@gmail.com.
24
Marine Evolution and Conservation, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands; Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown, MA 02657, United States. Electronic address: m.berube@rug.nl.

Abstract

The advent of massive parallel sequencing technologies has resulted in an increase of studies based upon complete mitochondrial genome DNA sequences that revisit the taxonomic status within and among species. Spatially distinct monophyly in such mitogenomic genealogies, i.e., the sharing of a recent common ancestor among con-specific samples collected in the same region has been viewed as evidence for subspecies. Several recent studies in cetaceans have employed this criterion to suggest subsequent intraspecific taxonomic revisions. We reason that employing intra-specific, spatially distinct monophyly at non-recombining, clonally inherited genomes is an unsatisfactory criterion for defining subspecies based upon theoretical (genetic drift) and practical (sampling effort) arguments. This point was illustrated by a re-analysis of a global mitogenomic assessment of fin whales, Balaenoptera physalus spp., published by Archer et al. (2013), which proposed to further subdivide the Northern Hemisphere fin whale subspecies, B. p. physalus. The proposed revision was based upon the detection of spatially distinct monophyly among North Atlantic and North Pacific fin whales in a genealogy based upon complete mitochondrial genome DNA sequences. The extended analysis conducted in this study (1676 mitochondrial control region, 162 complete mitochondrial genome DNA sequences and 20 microsatellite loci genotyped in 380 samples) revealed that the apparent monophyly among North Atlantic fin whales reported by Archer et al. (2013) to be due to low sample sizes. In conclusion, defining sub-species from monophyly (i.e., the absence of para- or polyphyly) can lead to erroneous conclusions due to relatively "trivial" aspects, such as sampling. Basic population genetic processes (i.e., genetic drift and migration) also affect the time to the most recent common ancestor and hence the probability that individuals in a sample are monophyletic.

KEYWORDS:

Balaenoptera physalus; Fin whale; Mitochondrial genome; North Atlantic Ocean; Subspecies

PMID:
30771513
DOI:
10.1016/j.ympev.2019.02.003
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