Genetic variability in Larus argentatus and Sterna hirundo
Melvin, George Ian.
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Blood serum and egg-white protein samples from individuals representing seven colonies of Larusargentatus, and four colonies of Sterna hirundo were electrophoretically analysed to determine levels of genetic variability and to assess the utility of polymorphic loci as genetic markers. Variability occurred at five co-dominant autosomal loci. S. hirundo protein polymorphism occurred at the Est-5 and the Oest-l loci, while nineteen loci were monomorphic. L. argentatus samples were monomorphic at seventeen loci and polymorphic at the Ldh-A and the Alb loci. Intergeneric differences existed at the Oalb and the Ldh-A loci. Although LDH-A100 from both species possessed identical electrophoretLc mobilities, the intergeneric differences were expressed as a difference in enzyme the'ITIlostabilities. Geographical distribution of alleles and genetic divergence estimates suggest ~ hirundo population panmixis,at least at the sampled locations. The h argentatus gene pool appears relatively heterogeneous with a discreet Atlantic Coast population and a Great Lakes demic population. These observed population structures may be maintained by the relative amount of gene flow occurring within and among populations. Mass ringing data coupled to reproductive success information and analysis of dispersal trends appear to validate this assumption. Similar results may be generated by either selection or both small organism and low locus sample sizes. To clarify these results and to detect the major factor(s) affecting the surveyed portions of the genome, larger sample sizes in conjunction with precise eco-demographic data are required.