Population structure and genetic variability of six bar wrasse (Thallasoma hardwicki) in northern South China Sea revealed by mitochondrial control region sequences

  • Chen C
  • Ablan M
  • McManus J
 et al. 
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The genetic relationships among northern South China Sea populations of the six bar wrasse (Thallasoma hardwicki) were investigated. Fish collected from the Solomon Islands were used for geographic comparison. In 1998 and 1999, a total of 100 fish were sampled from 6 localities of the northern South China Sea and 3 localities of the Solomon Islands. Genetic variations in DNA sequences were examined from the first hypervariable region (HVR-1) of the mitochondrial control region, as amplified by polymerase chain reaction. High levels of haplotypic diversity (h = 0.944 +/- 0.0016, pi = 0.0224 +/- 0.01171) in the HVR-1 region of the mitochondrial control region of T. hardwicki were detected. This yielded 94 haplotypes that exhibited a minimum spanning tree with a starburst structure, suggestive of a very recent origin for most haplotypes. Neutrality tests indicated that the pattern of genetic variability in T. hardwicki is consistent either with genetic hitchhiking by an advantageous mutation or with population expansion. Partitioning populations into coherent geographic groups divided the northern South China Sea samples (Phi(CT) = 0.0313, P < 0.001) into 3 major groups: a north-central group composed of northwestern Taiwan and northern Vietnam; a southwestern group containing southern Vietnam; and a southern group including the central Philippines. These results are in concordance with mesoscale boundaries proposed by allozyme markers, thus highlighting the importance of identifying transboundary units for the conservation and management of fisheries in the South China Sea.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Demographic history
  • Mitochondrial control region
  • Population structure
  • South China Sea
  • Thallasoma hardwicki

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