Population genetic differentiation of the hydrothermal vent crab Austinograea alayseae (Crustacea: Bythograeidae) in the Southwest Pacific Ocean.
To understand the origin, migration, and distribution of organisms across disjunct deep-sea vent habitats, previous studies have documented the population genetic structures of widely distributed fauna, such as gastropods, bivalves, barnacles, and squat lobsters. However, a limited number of investigations has been conducted in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, and many questions remain. In this study, we determined the population structure of the bythograeid crab Austinograea alayseae from three adjacent vent systems (Manus Basin, North Fiji Basin, and Tonga Arc) in the Southwest Pacific Ocean using the sequences of two mitochondrial genes (COI and 16S rDNA) and one nuclear gene (28S rDNA). Populations were divided into a Manus clade and a North Fiji-Tonga clade, with sequence divergence values in the middle of the barcoding gap for bythograeids. We inferred that hydrographic and/or physical barriers act on the gene flow of A. alayseae between the Manus and North Fiji basins. Austinograea alayseae individuals interact freely between the North Fiji Basin and the Lau Basin (Tonga Arc). Although further studies of genetic differentiation over a geological time scale, life-history attributes, and genome-based population genetics are needed to improve our understanding of the evolutionary history of A. alayseae, our results contribute to elucidating the phylogeny, evolution, and biogeography of bythograeids.
Lee, W-K; Kim, S-J; Hou, BK; Van Dover, CL; Ju, S-J
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