Investigating sea turtle migration using DNA markers.

  • Avise J
  • Bowen B
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The past year has seen a further marshaling of genetic evidence for 'natal homing' in several species of marine turtles, a phenomenon wherein females, upon reaching sexual maturity, exhibit a propensity to return to nest at or near the respective beaches upon which they hatched some two or more decades earlier. This genetics-based inference stems from the strong spatial patterning observed in mitochondrial DNA lineages among nesting sites. Rookery-specific mitochondrial DNA markers are now being employed to monitor the natal sources of individuals captured at other phases of the life cycle, and the genetic findings have important conservation ramifications.

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  • PMID: 7888759


  • J C Avise

  • B W Bowen

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