MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Two Hector's Beaked Whales, Mesoplodon hectori, stranded in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, identified by analyses of mtDNA sequences.
CAPPOZZO, H.L; MAHLER, B.; LIA, V.V.; MARTINEZ, P
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Lugar: Heidelberg; Año: 2006
Beaked whales or ziphiids are the least known cetaceans, and they are among the least known of all mammalian groups. Many beaked whales are very similar in appearance, especially in the genus Mesoplodon. Our objective was to identify the species of two beaked whales stranded alive in 2002 on the coast of Buenos Aires Province. DNA was extracted from tissue samples of skin and muscle. Phylogenetic analyses of sequence data from the mtDNA control region allowed unambiguous identification of both specimens as Hectors beaked whale, Mesoplodon hectori. Sequence divergence between both individuals was 1.23% and sequence divergence of both individuals with two Australian M. hectori did not exceed 1.25%. Sequence divergence of stranded M. hectori with other ziphiid species exceeded 5%. Analysis of this gene supported the finding that both individuals belonged to the same species, bringing out the cytochrome b sequence for this species for the fist time. The results confirm the usefulness of molecular techniques to ID ziphiids species, by using mtDNA analyses of sequences, especially in those cases in which the material comes from strandings, biopsies or scientific collections.