Genetic diversity and structure of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in Australian feeding aggregations

Catherine R M Attard, Luciano B. Beheregaray, Curt Jenner, Peter Gill, Micheline Jenner, Margaret Morrice, John Bannister, Rick LeDuc, Luciana Möller*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    The worldwide distribution of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) has not prevented this species from becoming endangered due to twentieth century whaling. In Australia there are two known feeding aggregations of blue whales, which most likely are the pygmy subspecies (B. m. brevicauda). It is unknown whether individuals from these feeding aggregations belong to one breeding stock, or multiple breeding stocks that either share or occupy separate feeding grounds. This was investigated using ten microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA control region sequences (N = 110). Both sets of markers revealed no significant genetic structure, suggesting that these whales are likely to belong to the same breeding stock.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2437-2441
    Number of pages5
    JournalConservation Genetics
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


    • Australia
    • Balaenoptera musculus
    • Blue whale
    • Microsatellite
    • Mitochondrial DNA


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