[01.04.04] A comparative molecular genetic study, based on hyper-variable, so-called microsatellite DNA, has been initiated. The intention is to quantify patterns and levels of population substructure in five key deep-sea fishes along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and adjacent continental slope waters.
Roundnose grenadier, Orange roughy, Black scabbard fish, Greenland halibut and Alfonsino have been chosen for such analyses, and genetic variability patterns at 10 different microsatellites from each species will be characterised. These species differ in several key life-history characteristics, which will be utilized when evaluating the relative importance of various processes that are responsible for forming the genetic patterns within species.
The Norwegian Research Council has granted a three-year project starting September 2004. The project is international, with partners in the Azores and UK. It is lead by Professor Nils Christian Stenseth (University of Oslo, CEES and Professor II at the Institute of Marine Research), and other partners are Rus Hoezel (Durham University, UK), Sergio Stefanni (University of Azores), Per Erik Jorde (IMR, Norway) and Halvor Knutsen (IMR, Norway). Colleagues at e.g. NMFS in the US, IFREMER in France, IPIMAR and DRP Madeira in Portugal provide reference material from many areas around the North Atlantic.