Chromosome studies of native populations of Oncorhynchus mykiss (steelhead and rainbow trout) in western Washington and southern British Columbia revealed the presence of two evolutionarily distinct chromosome lineages. Populations between, and including, the Elwha River, Washington, and Chilliwack River, British Columbia, contained 2n = 60 chromosomes. Populations on the central Washington coast contained 2n = 58 chromosomes. The north Washington coast and western Strait of Juan de Fuca contained individuals with 58, 59, or 60 chromosomes, suggesting this is a transition zone between 58 and 60 chromosome groups. The differences in chromosomal structure between 2n = 58 and 2n = 60 groups are presumably a Robertsonian rearrangement and an inversion. Allelic variation at three microsatellite loci (One ??6, One ??11 and Omy 77) also was examined, and no significant variation was detected among the 58 and 60 chromosome races. A hypothesis is presented concerning the origin of the 60 chromosome lineage.
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Geographic distribution of chromosome and microsatellite DNA polymorphisms in Oncorhynchus mykiss native to western Washington