It is generally accepted that anadromous Pacific salmon (genus Oncorhynchus) imprint to odorants in their natal streams during their seaward migration and use olfaction to identify these during their homeward migration. Despite the importance of the olfactory organ during olfactory imprinting, the development of this structure is not well understood in Pacific salmon. Olfactory cues from the environment are relayed to the brain by the olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in the olfactory organ. Thus, we analyzed morphometric changes in olfactory lamellae of the peripheral olfactory organ and in the quantity of ORNs during life history from alevin to mature in chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). The number of lamellae increased markedly during early development, reached 18 lamellae per unilateral peripheral olfactory organ in young salmon with a 200 mm in body size, and maintained this lamellar complement after young period. The number of ORNs per olfactory organ was about 180,000 and 14.2 million cells in fry and mature salmon, respectively. The relationship between the body size (fork length) and number of ORNs therefore revealed an allometric association. Our results represent the first quantitative analysis of the number of ORNs in Pacific salmon and suggest that the number of ORNs is synchronized with the fork length throughout its life history.
Pacific herring show an abrupt genetic discontinuity in the central North Pacific that represents secondary contact between refuge populations previously isolated during Pleistocene glaciations. Paradoxically, high levels of gene flow produce genetic homogeneity among ocean-type populations within each group. Here, we surveyed variability in mtDNA control-region sequences (463 bp) and nine microsatellite loci in Pacific herring from sites across the North Pacific to further explore the nature of the genetic discontinuity around the Alaska Peninsula. Consistent with previous studies, little divergence (?(ST) ?= 0.011) was detected between ocean-type populations of Pacific herring in the North West Pacific, except for a population in the Yellow Sea (?(ST) ?= 0.065). A moderate reduction in genetic diversity for both mtDNA and microsatellites in the Yellow Sea likely reflects founder effects during the last colonization of this sea. Reciprocal monophyly between divergent mtDNA lineages (?(ST) ?= 0.391) across the Alaska Peninsula defines the discontinuity across the North Pacific. However, microsatellites did not show a strong break, as eastern Bering Sea (EBS) herring were more closely related to NE Pacific than to NW Pacific herring. This discordance between mtDNA and microsatellites may be due to microsatellite allelic convergence or to sex-biased dispersal across the secondary contact zone. The sharp discontinuity between Pacific herring populations may be maintained by high-density blocking, competitive exclusion or hybrid inferiority.
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