We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Phylogenomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype divergence in sympatry.

Moura, A.E. and Kenny, J.G. and Chaudhuri, R. and Hughes, M.A. and Reisinger, R.R. and de Bruyn, P.J.N. and Dahlheim, M.E. and Hall, N. and Hoelzel, A.R. (2015) 'Phylogenomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype divergence in sympatry.', Heredity., 114 (1). pp. 48-55.


For many highly mobile species, the marine environment presents few obvious barriers to gene flow. Even so, there is considerable diversity within and among species, referred to by some as the ‘marine speciation paradox’. The recent and diverse radiation of delphinid cetaceans (dolphins) represents a good example of this. Delphinids are capable of extensive dispersion and yet many show fine-scale genetic differentiation among populations. Proposed mechanisms include the division and isolation of populations based on habitat dependence and resource specializations, and habitat release or changing dispersal corridors during glacial cycles. Here we use a phylogenomic approach to investigate the origin of differentiated sympatric populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca). Killer whales show strong specialization on prey choice in populations of stable matrifocal social groups (ecotypes), associated with genetic and phenotypic differentiation. Our data suggest evolution in sympatry among populations of resource specialists.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:30 May 2014
Date deposited:19 August 2014
Date of first online publication:23 July 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar