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Mol Ecol. 2008 Jul;17(13):3109-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03822.x. Epub 2008 May 30.

Multiple population structure of the giant mottled eel, Anguilla marmorata.

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Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan.


The population structure of the giant mottled eel, Anguilla marmorata, was investigated with mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA analyses using 449 specimens from 13 localities throughout the species range. Control region F-statistics indicated the North Pacific (Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Sulawesi), South Pacific (Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea), eastern Indian Ocean (Sumatra), western Indian Ocean (RĂ©union, Madagascar), Ambon, and Guam regions were significantly different (Phi(ST) = 0.131-0.698, P < 0.05) while only a few differences were observed between localities within the South Pacific. These regions were roughly clustered in the neighbour-joining tree, although Ambon individuals were mainly divided into North and South Pacific groups. Analysis with eight microsatellite loci showed almost identical results to those of the control region, except no genetic difference was observed between the western and eastern Indian Ocean (F(ST) = 0.009, P > 0.05). The Bayesian cluster analysis of the microsatellite data detected two genetic groups. One included four North Pacific localities, and the other included eight localities in the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Guam, but Ambon individuals were evenly assigned to these two groups. These results showed that A. marmorata has four genetically different populations (North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Guam region). The North Pacific population is fully panmictic whereas the South Pacific and Indian Ocean populations have a metapopulation structure. Interestingly, Guam was suggested to be inhabited by a reproductive population restricted to that region, and the individuals from the North and South Pacific populations co-exist in Ambon.

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