Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 763–774 | Cite as

Genetic diversity and demographic history of the endangered and endemic fish (Platypharodon extremus): implications for stock enhancement in Qinghai Tibetan Plateau

  • Junhu Su
  • Weihong Ji
  • Yanping Zhang
  • Dianne M. Gleeson
  • Zhongyu Lou
  • Jing Ren
  • Yanming Wei


Release of captive bred individuals into the wild is now a conservation management approach to increase the depleted natural wildlife populations. Such method has been initiated for conservation of wild fish population on Qinghai Tibetan Plateau (QTP), a region of high level of species endemism. Platypharodon extremus is an endemic schizothoracine fish species and a dominated species in the plateau water ecosystem of the QTP in the past, it is now enlisted as an endangered species. However, phylogenetic and genetic information have not been previously considered in the ongoing stock enhancement program. In this study, genetic and demographic processes of the populations across the distribution of this species were assessed, using the mitochondrial DNA control region and Cyt-b. We found that all populations displayed low nucleotide diversity suggesting severe historical bottleneck events and high haplotype diversity indicating recent population expansion. Both the phylogenetic tree and the minimum spanning tree showed no significant genealogical structures corresponding to sampling locations. Population histories including bottleneck, exponential expansion and the absence of population structure indicate that demographic processes highly influenced genetic variation within and among populations of P. extreums. The data presented is consistent with a historical bottleneck and recent population expansion for all four populations based on several complementary analyses of the genetic data and inferred from demographic history (0.26 to 0.36 Mya). This genetic variation and demographic processes should become the baseline information for evaluating genetic effects of stock enhancement program and ongoing conservation decision making.


Qinghai Tibetan Plateau (QTP) Platypharodon extremus Genetic structure Demographic history Stock enhancement 



This study has been approved by the Animal Care or Ethics Committee of Gansu Agricultural University. This study was provided by National Practice Inovation Trainng Program of College students (Grant No. 201210733008), and Natural Science Foundation of China (31160529) and the Gansu Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (1208RJYA033). The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junhu Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Weihong Ji
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yanping Zhang
    • 4
  • Dianne M. Gleeson
    • 5
  • Zhongyu Lou
    • 4
  • Jing Ren
    • 1
  • Yanming Wei
    • 6
  1. 1.College of Grassland ScienceGansu Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Grassland Ecosystem of Ministry of Education, Pratacultural Engineering Laboratory of Gansu ProvinceLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Gansu Agricultural University-Massey University Research Centre for Grassland BiodiversityGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of Natural and Mathematical SciencesMassey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Gansu Fisheries and Science Research InstituteLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Institute for Applied EcologyUniversity of CanberraBruceAustralia
  6. 6.College of Veterinary MedicineGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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