Diagnostic nuclear markers for hybrid Nemos in Kimbe Bay, PNG-Amphiprion chrysopterus x Amphiprion sandaracinos hybrids

  • Song HeEmail author
  • Serge Planes
  • Tane H. Sinclair-Taylor
  • Michael L. Berumen
Original Paper


Hybridization among clownfish (genus Amphiprion) is common in the aquarium trade and has also been reported in natural environments. Putative hybrids between Amphiprion chrysopterus and Amphiprion sandaracinos have been identified in a previous genetic study. However, convenient diagnostic tools for hybrid detection for this case are still missing. During the present study, several potential nuclear markers were tested on both parental species and their hybrids collected from Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Two diagnostic nuclear markers were found that can confidently discriminate the parent species and their hybrids. A haploweb analysis based on those two diagnostic nuclear markers indicated that one backcrossed hybrid was misclassified as one of the purebred parent species. Identification results from these two diagnostic markers were supported by results from microsatellites, mitochondrial gene markers, and morphological traits analysis.


Clownfish Hybridization Diagnostic markers Molecular identification 



We thank Nathalie Tolou from EPHE, PSL Research University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Bioscience Core Laboratory for laboratory support. We thank Jean-François Flot for useful discussions and valuable suggestions. We also thank anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


Financial support was provided by KAUST baseline research funds (BAS/1/1010-01-01) to M. L. B. and ANR grants to S. P.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities.

Supplementary material

12526_2018_907_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 34 kb)
12526_2018_907_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (23 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and EngineeringKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Ocean and Earth SciencesXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Excellence “CORAIL”, EPHEPSL Research University, UPVD, CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBEPerpignanFrance

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