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: Population genetics of shortnose sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum based on mitochondrial DNA control region sequences.

Authors: Grunwald, C; Stabile, J; Waldman, J R; Gross, R; Wirgin, I

Published In Mol Ecol, (2002 Oct)

Abstract: Shortnose sturgeon is an anadromous North American acipenserid that since 1973 has been designated as federally endangered in US waters. Historically, shortnose sturgeon occurred in as many as 19 rivers from the St. John River, NB, to the St. Johns River, FL, and these populations ranged in census size from 10(1) to 10(4), but little is known of their population structure or levels of gene flow. We used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and direct sequence analysis of a 440 bp portion of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region to address these issues and to compare haplotype diversity with population size. Twenty-nine mtDNA nucleotide-substitution haplotypes were revealed among 275 specimens from 11 rivers and estuaries. Additionally, mtDNA length variation (6 haplotypes) and heteroplasmy (2-5 haplotypes for some individuals) were found. Significant genetic differentiation (P < 0.05) of mtDNA nucleotide-substitution haplotypes and length-variant haplotypes was observed among populations from all rivers and estuaries surveyed with the exception of the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay collections. Significant haplotype differentiation was even observed between samples from two rivers (Kennebec and Androscoggin) within the Kennebec River drainage. The absence of haplotype frequency differences between samples from the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay reflects a probable current absence of spawning within the Chesapeake Bay system and immigration of fish from the adjoining Delaware River. Haplotypic diversity indices ranged between 0.817 and 0.641; no relationship (P > 0.05) was found between haplotype diversity and census size. Gene flow estimates among populations were often low (< 2.0), but were generally higher at the latitudinal extremes of their distribution. A moderate level of haplotype diversity and a high percentage (37.9%) of haplotypes unique to the northern, once-glaciated region suggests that northern populations survived the Pleistocene in a northern refugium. Analysis of molecular variance best supported a five-region hierarchical grouping of populations, but our results indicate that in almost all cases populations of shortnose sturgeon should be managed as separate units.

PubMed ID: 12296933 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Conservation of Natural Resources; DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics*; Fishes/genetics*; Genetic Variation; Genetics, Population*; Haplotypes; Molecular Sequence Data; Sequence Analysis, DNA

to Top