Aurelia spp. ephyrae have been reported to form blooms in sea cucumber aquaculture ponds in the Bohai and Yellow Seas. To identify the species, we carried out a genetic analysis of Aurelia spp. ephyrae and medusae based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. Samples of four Aurelia sp. ephyrae populations were collected in sea cucumber aquaculture ponds and samples of four Aurelia sp. medusae populations were collected in coastal waters. Using a BLASTn search, we found that both the ephyrae collected in the aquaculture ponds and medusae collected in coastal waters belong to Aurelia coerulea. Seventeen haplotypes were recovered from the 16S rRNA gene. The overall haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity of the 166 A. coerulea individuals were 0.686 and 0.329%, respectively, indicating high haplotype diversity and low nucleotide diversity. Moreover, the haplotype diversity of ephyrae populations were generally lower than that of medusae populations with close sampling points. The genetic differentiation between ephyrae populations collected in the sea cucumber aquaculture ponds and A. coerulea medusae collected in coastal waters was not significant, suggesting the ephyrae populations in the sea cucumber culture ponds were part of the same genetic group as the medusae populations in the coastal waters. Phylogeographic analysis of the 16S rRNA region revealed that there was no significant correlation between the haplotypes and the geographic distribution of populations. Pairwise fixation index values showed significant genetic differentiation and limited gene flow between A. coerulea population of Weifang and other locations.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Arai M N. 2001. Pelagic coelenterates and eutrophication: a review. Hydrobiologia, 451(1–3): 69–87, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-0722-1_7.
Bandelt H J, Forster P, Röhl A. 1999. Median-joining networks for inferring intraspecific phylogenies. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 16(1): 37–48, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a026036.
Baxter E J, Rodger H D, McAllen R, Doyle T K. 2011. Gill disorders in marine-farmed salmon: investigating the role of hydrozoan jellyfish. Aquaculture Environment Interactions, 1(3): 245–257, https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00024.
Bolton T F, Graham W M. 2006. Jellyfish on the rocks: Bioinvasion threat of the international trade in aquarium live rock. Biological Invasions, 8(4): 651–653, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-005-2017-z.
Bosch-Belmar M, Rabet C M, Dhaouadi R, Chalghaf R, Yahia M N D, Fuentes V, Piraino S, Yahia O K D. 2016. Jellyfish stings trigger gill disorders and increased mortality in farmed Sparus aurata (Linnaeus, 1758) in the Mediterranean sea. PLoS One, 11(4): e0154239, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154239.
Brown W M, George M Jr, Wilson A C. 1979. Rapid evolution of animal mitochondrial DNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 76(4): 1 967–1 971, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.76.4.1967.
Chinese Zoology Editorial Committee, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 2002. Fauna Sinica (Volume 27): Scyphozoa, Hydrozoa. Science Press, Beijing. p.30–34. (in Chinese)
Dawson M N, Jacobs D K. 2001. Molecular evidence for cryptic species of Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa). The Biological Bulletin, 200(1): 92–96, https://doi.org/10.2307/1543089.
Dawson M N. 2003. Macro-morphological variation among cryptic species of the moon jellyfish, Aurelia (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa). Marine Biology, 143(2): 369–379, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-003-1070-3.
Dawson M N. 2005. Cyanea capillata is not a cosmopolitan jellyfish: morphological and molecular evidence for C. annaskala and C. rosea (Scyphozoa: Semaeostomeae: Cyaneidae) in south-eastern Australia. Invertebrate Systematics, 19(4): 361–370, https://doi.org/10.1071/IS03035.
Dong Z J, Liu D Y, Keesing J K. 2010. Jellyfish blooms in China: dominant species, causes and consequences. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60(7): 954–963, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.04.022.
Dong Z J, Liu Z Y, Liu D Y. 2015. Genetic characterization of the scyphozoan jellyfish Aurelia spp. in Chinese coastal waters using mitochondrial markers. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 60: 15–23, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2015.02.018.
Dong Z J, Sun T T, Liu Q Q, Sun F F. 2017. High density aggregations of the Aurelia sp.1 ephyrae in a Chinese coastal aquaculture pond. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, 20(4): 465–471.
Ender A, Schierwater B. 2003. Placozoa are not derived cnidarians: evidence from molecular morphology. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 20(1): 130–134, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msg018.
Excoffier L, Lischer H E L. 2010. Arlequin suite ver 3.5: a new series of programs to perform population genetics analyses under Linux and Windows. Molecular Ecology Resources, 10(3): 564–567-https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02847.x.
Falkenhaug T. 2014. Review of jellyfish blooms in the Mediterranean and black Sea. Marine Biology Research, 10(10): 1 038–1 039, https://doi.org/10.1080/17451000.2014.880790.
Hallerman E M. 2003. Population Genetics: Principles and Applications for Fisheries Scientists. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda. p.261–290.
He J, Zheng L M, Zhang W J, Lin Y S. 2015. Life cycle reversal in Aurelia sp.1 (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa). PLoS One, 10(12): e0145314, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0145314.
Ki J S, Hwang D S, Shin K, Yoon W D, Lim D, Kang Y S, Lee Y, Lee J S. 2008. Recent moon jelly (Aurelia sp.1) blooms in Korean coastal waters suggest global expansion: examples inferred from mitochondrial COI and nuclear ITS-5.8S rDNA sequences. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65(3): 443–452, https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsn018.
Kumar S, Stecher G, Tamura K. 2016. MEGA7: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33(7): 1 870–1 874, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msw054.
Lee P L M, Dawson M N, Neill S P, Robins P E, Houghton J D R, Doyle T K, Hays G C. 2013. Identification of genetically and oceanographically distinct blooms of jellyfish. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 10(80): 20120920, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2012.0920.
Li Y L, Wang B, Wang W B, Dong J. 2016. Genetic diversity analysis of jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum in Liaodong bay based on the COI sequence. Fisheries Science, 35(4): 404–409, https://doi.org/10.16378/j.cnki.1003-1111.2016.04.016. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Librado P, Rozas J. 2009. DnaSP V5: a software for comprehensive analysis of DNA polymorphism data. Bioinformatics, 25(11): 1 451–1 452, https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btp187.
Lucas C H. 2001. Reproduction and life history strategies of the common jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in relation to its ambient environment. Hydrobiologia, 451(1–3): 229–246, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011836326717.
Mills C E. 2001. Jellyfish blooms: are populations increasing globally in response to changing ocean conditions? Hydrobiologia, 451(1–3): 55–68, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011888006302.
Purcell J E. 2005. Climate effects on formation of jellyfish and ctenophore blooms: a review. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 85(3): 461–476, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315405011409.
Purcell J E, Baxter E J, Fuentes V L. 2013. Jellyfish as products and problems of aquaculture. In: Allan G, Burnell G eds. Advances in Aquaculture Hatchery Technology. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing: 404–430, https://doi.org/10.1533/9780857097460.2.404.
Ramšak A, Stopar K, Malej A. 2012. Comparative phylogeography of meroplanktonic species, Aurelia spp. and Rhizostomapulmo (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in European seas. Hydrobiologia, 690(1): 69–80, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-012-1053-9.
Richardson A J, Bakun A, Hays G C, Gibbons M J. 2009. The jellyfish joyride: causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous future. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 24(6): 312–322, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2009.01.010.
Schroth W, Jarms G, Streit B, Schierwater B. 2002. Speciation and phylogeography in the cosmopolitan marine moon jelly, Aurelia sp. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2: 1, https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-2-1.
Schroth W, Ender A, Schierwater B. 2005. Molecular biomarkers and adaptation to environmental stress in moon jelly (Aurelia spp.). Marine Biotechnology, 7(5): 449–461, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10126-004-4095-9.
Scorrano S, Aglieri G, Boero F, Dawson M N, Piraino S. 2017. Unmasking Aurelia species in the Mediterranean Sea: an integrative morphometric and molecular approach. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 180(2): 243–267, https://doi.org/10.1111/zoj.12494.
Stopar K, Ramšak A, Trontelj P, Malej A. 2010. Lack of genetic structure in the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa: Semaeostomeae) across European seas. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57(1): 417–428, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2010.07.004.
Tajima F, Nei M. 1984. Estimation of evolutionary distance between nucleotide sequences. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 1(3): 269–285.
Toyokawa M, Furota T, Terazaki M. 2000. Life history and seasonal abundance of Aurelia aurita medusae in Tokyo Bay, Japan. Plankton Biology and Ecology, 47(1): 48–58.
Uye S I. 2008. Blooms of the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai: a threat to the fisheries sustainability of the East Asian Marginal Seas. Plankton Benthos Res., 3(S1): 125–131, https://doi.org/10.3800/pbr.3.125.
Uye S I. 2011. Human forcing of the copepod-fish-jellyfish triangular trophic relationship. Hydrobiologia, 666(1): 71–83, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-010-0208-9.
Wang J Y, Yu Z G, Zhen Y, Mi T Z, Yao Q Z, Wang G S. 2012. Research advances in the effects of environmental factors on the growth and development of Aurelia spp. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, 23(11): 3 207–3 217, https://doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.2012.0483. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Wang J Y, Zhen Y, Wang G S, Mi T Z, Yu Z G. 2013. Molecular identification and detection of moon jellyfish (Aurelia sp.) based on partial sequencing of mitochondrial 16S rDNA and COI. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, 24(3): 847–852, https://doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.2013.0239. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Whitmore D H, Thai T H, Craft C M. 1994. The largemouth bass cytochrome b gene. J. Fish Biol., 44(4): 637–645, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1994.tb01240.x.
Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA23050301), the Special Exchange Program from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41576152, 41876138), the Instrument Developing Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. YJKYYQ20180047), and the Key Research and Development Program of Yantai (No. 2018ZHGY073)
6 Data Availability Statement
All data generated and/or analyzed during this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Electronic Supplementary Material
About this article
Cite this article
Peng, S., Liu, Q., Wang, L. et al. Molecular identification and population differentiation of Aurelia spp. ephyrae in sea cucumber aquaculture ponds of northern China. J. Ocean. Limnol. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-020-0022-9
- Aurelia coerulea
- 16S rRNA gene analyzes
- genetic differentiation
- genetic variability