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Discovery of a genetically distinct lineage in medaka species within Lake Towuti in central Sulawesi


Oryzias marmoratus and Oryzias profundicola in Lake Towuti in Sulawesi are considered to have experienced ancient admixture with a lineage phylogenetically close to the extant O. marmoratus in Lake Lantoa. However, the admixture may be ongoing because these lakes are currently connected to each other by rivers. In this study, we examined population genetic structures of O. marmoratus and O. profundicola in Lake Towuti and adjacent lakes. Mitochondrial and microsatellite analyses revealed that O. marmoratus and O. profundicola in Lake Towuti are generally clearly separated from O. marmoratus in Lake Lantoa. However, we found one O. marmoratus individual in Lake Towuti shared a mitochondrial haplotype and a large fraction of ancestry with the Lantoa O. marmoratus. The discovery of this Lantoa-type individual in Lake Towuti suggests that either dispersal of individuals from Lake Lantoa to Lake Towuti is ongoing, or that there is another unknown population within Lake Towuti that originated from ancient admixture.

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We thank the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, Republic of Indonesia (RISTEKDIKTI), Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), and the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Sam Ratulangi University for the permit to conduct research in Sulawesi (research permit numbers 394/SIP/FRP/SM/XI/2014). We thank Marianne Fish, PhD, from Edanz ( for editing a draft of this manuscript. This study was supported by the Collaborative Research of Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, to JK and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26291093 to KY.

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Correspondence to Kazunori Yamahira or Nobuyuki Inomata.

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Yamahira, K., Mokodongan, D.F., Konishi, M. et al. Discovery of a genetically distinct lineage in medaka species within Lake Towuti in central Sulawesi. Ichthyol Res (2022).

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  • Admixture
  • Introgression
  • Malili Lakes
  • Microsatellite
  • Oryzias