Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of the harbour porpoisePhocoena phocoenain the North Pacific

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Genetic structure and phylogeography of the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in the North Pacific were examined using 358 bps sequences from the 5′ end of the mitochondrial DNA control region including those reported previously and newly obtained from the west Pacific. AMOVA and pairwise population &b.phis; st estimates clearly revealed genetic differentiation between an east/south and a north/northwest group with the break along the Pacific Rim at British Columbia. In addition, nested clade phylogeographical analysis, neutrality tests, mismatch distribution analysis, genetic diversities and Mantel test, suggested that the observed genetic structure might have been influenced by contiguous range expansion with restricted gene flow in the direction from south to north along the North American coasts and east to west along the Pacific Rim in the middle to late Pleistocene.

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