Ichthyological Research

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 357–368 | Cite as

Population structure of the sailfin sandfish, Arctoscopus japonicus (Trichodontidae), in the Sea of Japan

  • Shigeru M. ShiraiEmail author
  • Ryoji Kuranaga
  • Hideki Sugiyama
  • Masahito Higuchi
Full paper


We analyzed patterns of genetic diversity in the sailfin sandfish (Arctoscopus japonicus), focusing on population subdivisions within the Sea of Japan. We observed 270 specimens from nine sampling sites in 1999–2000, i.e., seven sites in the Sea of Japan and two sites from the Pacific coast of Hokkaido. An additional site (30 specimens) was sampled from eastern Korea in the spawning season of 2004 for comparison. Forty haplotypes, compiled into three haplogroups (A–C), were detected based on the comparison of a 400-bp sequence of the anterior part of the mitochondrial control region. In accordance with previous hypotheses from morphological and molecular analyses, genetic discontinuity between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific coast of Hokkaido was conspicuous. Within the Sea of Japan, eight sampling sites were not genetically uniform, and most of the variations among sites were detected between eastern Korea [the “eastern Korea” (EK) population: distributed from the Korean Peninsula to Mishima, Yamaguchi Prefecture] and the other sites along the coast of Japan [the “western Japan” (WJ) population: from Oki Islands to western Hokkaido] (Φ CT  = 0.096, P = 0.0183). The WJ population, having lower genetic variability, showed significant departure from neutrality, indicating influences through a recent population expansion. The period of the expansion can be estimated to have begun on the order of 104 years ago. We consider that the present Japan Sea populations have been formed through the invasion of a small ancestral stock to the Sea of Japan and its population expansion during the last glacial period or later. On the other hand, we failed to detect distinct evidence of a population expansion in the EK population. Haplogroup C, detected in a high frequency in this population, was estimated to have mixed with haplogroup A after rapid differentiations of the latter. Therefore, the EK population, strongly influenced by such a mixture, might possess haplogroup C in a higher frequency and a different haplotype composition from the WJ population.

Key words

Arctoscopus japonicus Sea of Japan Recent population expansion Population structure 


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigeru M. Shirai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ryoji Kuranaga
    • 2
  • Hideki Sugiyama
    • 3
  • Masahito Higuchi
    • 4
  1. 1.Japan Sea National Fisheries Research InstituteNiigataJapan
  2. 2.Tottori Prefectural Fisheries Experimental StationSakaiminatoJapan
  3. 3.Akita Prefectural Institute of FisheriesOga, AkitaJapan
  4. 4.Niigata Prefectural Inland Water Fisheries Experiment StationNagaokaJapan

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