[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are the most polymorphic loci known for vertebrates. Here we employed five microsatellite loci closely linked to the MHC region in an attempt to study the amount of genetic variation in 19 populations of the southeast Asian house mouse (Mus musculus castaneus) in Taiwan. The overall polymorphism at the five loci was high (He = 0.713), and the level of polymorphism varied from locus to locus. Furthermore, in order to investigate if selection is operating on MHC genes in natural mouse populations, we compared the extent and pattern of genetic variation for the MHC-linked microsatellite loci (the MHC loci) with those for the microsatellite loci located outside the MHC region (the non-MHC loci). The number of alleles and the logarithm of variance in repeat number were significantly higher for the MHC loci than for the non-MHC loci, presumably reflecting linkage to a locus under balancing selection. Although three statistical tests used do not provide support for selection, their lack of support may be due to low statistical power of the tests, to weakness of selection, or to a profound effect of genetic drift reducing the signature of balancing selection. Our results also suggested that the populations in the central and the southwestern regions of Taiwan might be one part of a metapopulation structure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed the population structure of the Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus), a small pelagic fish, using 6 microsatellite DNA loci. The anchovy is known to have 2 separate spawning populations, one near northeastern Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean and the other near southwestern Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait. The planktonic larvae then drifted north to the feeding grounds in the East China Sea to advance in their life history. Three populations of the anchovy were analyzed, including 2 temporal population from the northeastern spawning ground (I-Lan 1999 and I-Lan 2000) and one population from the southwestern spawning ground (Peng-Hu 2000). The genetic variability of the 6 loci was high for all the populations. The average numbers of alleles per population ranged from 25.5 to 32.3, and the average observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.559 to 0.650. A significant population differentiation was found between geographic populations but not between the temporal populations. However, the level of geographic differentiation was weak, average FST 0.0088. The significant geographic population structure indicated that the populations of 2 spawning grounds belonged to separate stocks. Moreover, 16 of the 18 population-locus cases showed significant departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, implying that each spawning population in turn consisted of mixed native stocks. Finally, we posed 3 population models to be evaluated against the genetic data disclosed with the microsatellite markers.