Genetic and geographical differentiation of Pandaka gobies in Japan
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The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogeny of Japanese Pandaka species (Perciformes: Gobiidae) was inferred from partial nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA genes (1083 bp). The resultant mtDNA tree showed two major clades (clade I and clade II), which were inconsistent with the present taxonomic classification. One of the major clades was further divided into two geographical groups, distributed on the Japanese Major Islands (clade I-A) and from Amami-oshima Island to Iriomote Island (clade I-B). The mtDNA haplotypes in clade II were found only on Iriomote Island. The mtDNA divergences in clade I indicated that the Japanese Major Island (clade I-A) and Ryukyu (clade I-B) groups have been geographically isolated from each other for millions of years, based on the putative molecular divergence rate. The geographical distributions of mtDNA haplotypes in clade I-A and clade I-B also suggested that Pandaka gobies had not dispersed to distant offshore islands, indicating that their geographical differentiation may be closely associated with the geological history of the Japanese and Ryukyu Archipelagos.
Key wordsPandaka mtDNA Genetic divergence Geographical isolation Phylogeography
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