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Gasterosteus Aculeatus, biology, analysis, California, stickleback


Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Life Sciences


The threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, is found in Northern temperate zones as marine, freshwater and anadramous populations. Historically, its evolutionary history has been obscured by morphological similarities derived through parallel evolution. The analysis of mtDNA has begun to unravel this relationship. Southern California contains two populations of three-spine stickleback which appear to be distinct from other populations in the area: Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni and the Shay Creek Stickleback. In this project, a 747-bp sequence of mtDNA cytochrome b from four distinct Southern California populations of G. aculeatus (Holcomb Creek, Fillmore (mid-Santa Clara River), Shay Creek and G.a.williamsoni) was analyzed, and compared to the cytochrome b mtDNA sequences of stickleback throughout the world. The maximum parsimony and minimum evolution analyses have shown that the Shay Creek Stickleback and G.a.williamsoni are more closely related to populations found in British Columbia than they are tot he other Southern California populations. Furthermore, the cytochrome b data shows that the Shay Creek Stickleback is a distinct form, suggesting that conservation efforts to preserve this population and its habitat should be increased.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status



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