Features » First Global DNA Study of Two Iconic Kingfish Reveals New Populations

A team of scientists from SAIAB and the USA have partnered with anglers across the world to tackle a big unknown for the fishing community.

New genetic populations of the iconic sportfishes, giant kingfish (Caranx ignobilis) and bluefin kingfish (Caranx melampygus), have been discovered via the first large-scale DNA study of these two species. By sequencing their full genomes and collecting tissue samples throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, researchers found evidence of genetically different populations of both species in Hawaii, USA. Giant kingfish from the Republic of Kiribati were also part of the unique population with Hawaii.

The BIG question

It is known from tagging studies that adults of both giant and bluefin kingfish are very territorial, yet they have pelagic larvae that disperse via ocean currents. Until now, no one knew how genetically connected they were across their ranges. Dr Jessica Glass, Postdoctoral Researcher at SAIAB, aimed to figure this out. Based on past DNA studies on tunas and other wide-ranging marine species, Dr Glass knew this big question required an extensive dataset. Accordingly, she teamed up with Dr Scott Santos, Dr John Kauwe and Mr Brandon Pickett. READ MORE

SAIAB Seminar Series Webinar

Dr Jessica Glass's presentation as part of the SAIAB Seminar Series titled, "Using the Micro to Understand the Macro: How Genetics and Chemistry Help Us Tackle Big Questions in Fisheries and Evolutionary Biology" is available from the SAIAB YouTube Channel.

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