A key to selected rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) based on mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment analysis


Li, Zhuozhuo, Andrew K. Gray, Milton S. Love, Akira Goto, Takashi Asahida, and Anthony J. Gharrett
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Larval and juvenile rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) are difficult to identify using morphological characters. We developed a key based on sizes of restriction endonuclease fragments of the NADH dehydrogenase-3 and -4 (ND3/ND4) and 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA (12S/16S) mitochondrial regions. The key makes use of variation in the ND3/ND4 region. Restriction endonuclease Dde I variation can corroborate identifications, as can 12S/16S variation. The key, based on 71 species, includes most North American taxa, several Asian species, and Sebastolobus alascanus and Helicolenus hilgendorfi that are closely related to rockfishes. Fifty-eight of 71 rockfish species in our database can be distinguished unequivocally, using one to five restriction enzymes; identities of the remaining species are narrowed to small groups: 1) S. polyspinis, S. crameri, and S. ciliatus or variabilis (the two species could not be distinguished and were considered as a single species); 2) S. chlorostictus, S. eos, and S. rosenblatti; 3) S. entomelas and S. mystinus; 4) S. emphaeus, S. variegatus, and S. wilsoni; and 5) S. carnatus and S. chrysomelas.