Coral Reefs

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 607–619 | Cite as

Highly restricted gene flow and deep evolutionary lineages in the giant clam Tridacna maxima

  • A. Nuryanto
  • M. KochziusEmail author


The tropical Indo-West Pacific is the biogeographic region with the highest diversity of marine shallow water species, with its centre in the Indo-Malay Archipelago. However, due to its high endemism, the Red Sea is also considered as an important centre of evolution. Currently, not much is known about exchange among the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and West Pacific, as well as connectivity within the Indo-Malay Archipelago, even though such information is important to illuminate ecological and evolutionary processes that shape marine biodiversity in these regions. In addition, the inference of connectivity among populations is important for conservation. This study aims to test the hypothesis that the Indo-Malay Archipelago and the Red Sea are important centres of evolution by studying the genetic population structure of the giant clam Tridacna maxima. This study is based on a 484-bp fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase I gene from 211 individuals collected at 14 localities in the Indo-West Pacific to infer lineage diversification and gene flow as a measure for connectivity. The analysis showed a significant genetic differentiation among sample sites in the Indo-West Pacific (Φst = 0.74, P < 0.001) and across the Indo-Malay Archipelago (Φst = 0.72, P < 0.001), indicating restricted gene flow. Hierarchical AMOVA revealed the highest fixation index (Φct = 0.8, P < 0.001) when sample sites were assigned to the following regions: (1) Red Sea, (2) Indian Ocean and Java Sea, (3) Indonesian throughflow and seas in the East of Sulawesi, and (4) Western Pacific. Geological history as well as oceanography are important factors that shape the genetic structure of T. maxima in the Indo-Malay Archipelago and Red Sea. The observed deep evolutionary lineages might include cryptic species and this result supports the notion that the Indo-Malay Archipelago and the Red Sea are important centres of evolution.


Southeast Asia Arabian Seas Coral Triangle Conservation Marine protected areas Aquarium trade 



We would like to thank the institutions and individuals that have made our study possible: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Grant no. 03F0390B), which funded the project ‘Molecular Genetics as a Tool for the Management of Marine Ornamentals in Sulawesi (Indonesia)’ in the framework of the joint German-Indonesian project SPICE (Science for the Protection of Indonesian Coastal Marine Ecosystems); German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for supporting A. Nuryanto; Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (Bremen, Germany) for project co-ordinated, especially C. Richter; colleagues from the University of Bremen, especially J. Timm for help during field work; colleagues from Universitas Hasanuddin (Makassar, Indonesia) for logistical support in Spermonde, especially J. Jompa; anonymous reviewers for constructive comments. The SPICE project is conducted and permitted under the governmental agreement between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Indonesian Ministry for Research and Technology (RISTEK), Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DKP), and Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT). This work was carried out in co-operation with Hassanuddin University (UNHAS, Makassar, Indonesia), Agricultural University Bogor (IPB, Bogor, Indonesia), and Jenderal Soedirman University (Purwokerto, Indonesia).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics, FB2-UFTUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of BiologyJenderal Soedirman UniversityPurwokertoIndonesia

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