Fisheries Science

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 259–267 | Cite as

Molecular species diagnosis confirmed the occurrence of Kumamoto oyster Crassostrea sikamea in Korean waters

Original Article Biology


In order to develop an appropriate natural resource management policy, it is important to elucidate the cryptic habitats of species. Oyster species are likely to have such unrecognized habitats owing to the difficulty involved in morphological species identification. In this study, we discovered a novel cryptic habitat of the Kumamoto oyster Crassostrea sikamea, a sibling species of the Pacific oyster C. gigas, in Korean waters. We collected 50 oyster samples from Suncheon Bay, located in the southern Korean Peninsula, among which 20 individuals of C. sikamea, 29 of C. gigas, and one C. sikamea/C. gigas hybrid were identified based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. There were no significant differences in shell morphology between the two species, which is consistent with how difficult it is to delineate them based on their shell features. Our identification of this novel C. sikamea habitat should help to improve the resource management of East Asian oysters.


Taxonomic classification Biodiversity Conservation biology Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas Cytochrome oxidase c subunit I Internal transcribed spacer Hybridization 



This work was supported by an INHA University research grant. The authors are grateful to Mr. Sung-Tae Kim in the Benthic Ecology Laboratory for assistance with field work, measurements, and data analysis.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean SciencesInha UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research AgencyShiogamaJapan
  3. 3.The Tohoku University MuseumSendaiJapan

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