Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 5, pp 1049–1060 | Cite as

Low levels of global genetic differentiation and population expansion in the deep-sea teleost Hoplostethus atlanticus revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequences

  • Andrea I. Varela
  • Peter A. Ritchie
  • Peter J. Smith
Original Paper


The orange roughy Hoplostethus atlanticus is a well-known commercial species with a global distribution. There is no consensus about levels of connectivity among populations despite a range of techniques having been applied. We used cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and cytochrome b sequences to study genetic connectivity at a global scale. Pairwise ΦST analyses revealed a lack of significant differentiation among samples from New Zealand, Australia, Namibia, and Chile. However, low but significant differentiation (ΦST = 0.02–0.13, P < 0.05) was found between two Northeast Atlantic sites and all the other sites with COI. AMOVA and the haplotype genealogy confirmed these results. The prevalent lack of genetic differentiation is probably due to active adult dispersal under the stepping-stone model. Demographic analyses suggested the occurrence of two expansion events during the Pleistocene period.


Orange Roughy Northeast Atlantic Ocean Haplotype Genealogy Hoplostethus Atlanticus Population Expansion Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was carried out under a PhD scholarship awarded to A. I. Varela by CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Gobierno de Chile) and Victoria University of Wellington. We would like to thank to Milan Barbarich and Khush Mistry from Anton’s Seafoods Ltd. and Jim Fitzgerald from Sanford Ltd for their support and assisting with sample collection in Northern New Zealand. We express our gratitude to Dave Banks and the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd. for their assistance and help during the first stage of this project. Also to Kris Ramm, Ministry of Fisheries Observer, for collection of samples in Northern New Zealand. Samples from around central and southern New Zealand, South Australia, and from Namibia were made available from a frozen tissue collection held at NIWA. We are grateful to Edwin Niklitschek, Universidad Austral de Chile for samples from the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile and to Jamie Coughlan, University College Cork, Ireland and Sergio Stefanni, University of the Azores, Portugal who provided samples from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. We also thank Sebastian Hernández for construction of the map used to indicate sampling locations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea I. Varela
    • 1
  • Peter A. Ritchie
    • 1
  • Peter J. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Museum VictoriaMelbourneAustralia

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