Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus: an exception to the rule of homing in anadromous fishes.

Authors: Waldman, John; Grunwald, Cheryl; Wirgin, Isaac

Published In Biol Lett, (2008 Dec 23)

Abstract: Anadromous fishes are believed to make regular circuits of migration in the sea before homing to their natal rivers. Sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus is an anadromous fish that is an exception to this life-history pattern. It also differs from other anadromous fishes in that its adult phase is parasitic, a feeding strategy that should make homing problematic for lamprey cohorts that become widely dispersed through transport by the diverse hosts they parasitize. We sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial DNA control region from sea lampreys collected from 11 North American east coast rivers to test for genetic evidence of homing. There were no significant differences (chi2=235.1, p=0.401) in haplotype frequencies among them, with almost 99 per cent of haplotypic diversity occurring within populations. These findings, together with concordant genetic results from other geographical regions and ancillary information on pheromonal communication, suggest that sea lamprey does not home but rather exhibits regional panmixia while using a novel 'suitable river' strategy to complete its life cycle.

PubMed ID: 18713713 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Canada; DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics*; Haplotypes; Homing Behavior*; Mid-Atlantic Region; New England; Petromyzon/genetics*; Rivers

to Top