Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation within and between tuna Thunnus species and its application to species identification

H. Takeyama, S. Chow, H. Tsuzuki, T. Matsunaga

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Restriction analysis detected two types of bigeye tuna (α and β); the α type was in the majority in the Atlantic but nearly absent in the Indo-Pacific. The α type shared a larger number of restriction sites with other species than the conspecific β type, but bigeye-specific nucleotide substitutions with a novel diagnostic restriction profile were found. Although the nucleotide sequence difference between Atlantic and Pacific sub-species of the northern bluefin tuna was nearly the largest among species, individuals possessing the Atlantic type of mtDNA were found at very low frequency in the Pacific and vice versa. Previous RFLP markers were found to be diagnostic for the other five species (albacore, blackfin, longtail, southern bluefin and yellowfin tunas). Genetic information is provided to discriminate all Thunnus species regardless of their origin and to identify the ocean of capture in the northern bluefin and bigeye tunas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1646-1657
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jul 14



  • RFLP
  • Species identification
  • Tuna
  • mtDNA sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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