SREL Reprint #0951




Biochemical Genetics of Mosquitofish.  
IV.  Changes of Allele-Frequencies Through Time and Space

Leroy R. McClenaghan Jr., Michael H. Smith, and Michael W. Smith



Gene frequency data from samples of Gambusia affinis populations at 76 localities across the Savannah River drainage were used to investigate temporal and spatial patterns in population genetic structure.  Localities in the Par Pond system on the Savannah River Plant were sampled in 1971, 1977, and 1979.  Allelic frequencies in these populations were generally stable through time, although significant temporal changes were observed among samples from Pond C, an impoundment receiving thermal effluent.

Significant spatial heterogeneity in allele frequencies was observed on both microgeographic and regional scales.  Populations within the Par Pond system were spatially subdivided at four of the five loci surveyed (mean FST=0.051).  Subdivision was even more pronounced when samples from across the Savannah River drainage were compared (mean F=0.196).  A hierarchial analysis of gene diversity (GST) demonstrated that most of the genic diversity across the drainage exists as within-subdivision diversity.  Even when populations from such contrasting habitats as rivers, creeks, ponds, and reservoirs are compared, an average of only 13% of the total gene diversity was attributed to between-group diversity.  Greatest between-group gene diversity was observed when reservoirs were compared with one another.  This general pattern of low between-habitat diversity suggests that differential selection pressures are not playing a major role in producing the observed levels of subdivision.

In the Par Pond system, neither single locus nor multilocus genetic distances were significantly associated with geographic distance or with its reciprocal.  For samples from over the Savannah River drainage, significant correlations between genetic and geographic distance were observed only for the Gpi-2 and Pgm-2 loci.  Thus, there was a general lack of concordance between genetic and geographic distances.

Spatial autocorrelation demonstrated patterns consistent with Wright’s isolation by distance model.  Significant positive correlations in allelic frequencies among neighboring populations were observed for five of six alleles; allelic frequencies in more distantly separated populations were typically not correlated.


SREL Reprint #0951

McClenaghan, L.R., Jr., M.H. Smith, and M.W. Smith. 1985. Biochemical genetics of mosquitofish. IV. Changes of allele frequencies through time and space. Evolution 39:451-460.

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