Mitochondrial DNA variation of striped bass (Morone saxatilis Walbaum, 1792) in the Minas Basin
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Science
Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are important in both sport and commercial fisheries but they have recently been listed as a threatened species in the Bay of Fundy, as advised by COSEWIC. Currently the Shubenacadie River is the only known breeding population of striped bass in the Minas Basin. Most striped bass populations are known to be highly migratory with a range extending along the Atlantic coast from the St. Lawrence Estuary to Florida. Previous tagging studies indicated a mix of local and migratory stocks from throughout the range of striped bass, leading to an aggregated population in Minas Basin during summer. In the present study, mitochondrial DNA analysis was used to characterize the native Shubenacadie River spawning population for comparison with bass captured in the Minas Basin during the summer of 2008. Bass were sampled from three different regions in the Minas Basin; the Shubenacadie River, Five Islands and the Southern Bight during the summer of 2008. The mitochondrial control region was amplified and sequenced, allowing comparison of variation between both region-specific samples and individual fish. Variation among individual sequences was suggestive of aggregation of multiple stocks of striped bass. A total of six haplotypes were observed. Haplotype occurrence indicated the Five Islands group differed considerably from fish sampled at other sites. Further sequence comparison is necessary to clarify among stocks. It will also provide a better understanding of the stock make up of the Minas Basin summer population and aid in long term prediction of possible impact of the tidal power development. Genetic information complements ongoing research into striped bass migration patterns using conventional tagging methods.
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