, Volume 838, Issue 1, pp 163–182 | Cite as

Genetic variation, demographic history and phylogeography of tire track eel, Mastacembelus favus (Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae) in Southeast Asia

  • Jamsari Amirul Firdaus JamaluddinEmail author
  • Nam So
  • Bui Minh Tam
  • Amirrudin Ahmad
  • Chaiwut Grudpan
  • Lawrence M. Page
  • Md. Zain Khaironizam
  • Siti Azizah Mohd Nor
Primary Research Paper


The complex climatic and geological history of Southeast Asia has been hypothesised to determine the most important aspects of the current phylogeographical structure and distribution of living organisms throughout the region. To test existing hypotheses, the genetic structure of the tire track eel, Mastacembelus favus, was investigated using 823 bp of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b from 469 individuals from 51 localities encompassing its native range. The results classified all haplotypes into two major lineages, Lineage 1, which was further divided into Lineages 1a (lower Mekong, eastern Gulf of Thailand and Malay—Thai Peninsula), 1b (Banpakong River), 1c (Chao Phraya, Gulf of Thailand and Malay—Thai Peninsula) and 1d (Khlang Yai River), and Lineage 2, the upper reaches of the lower Mekong and the middle Mekong. Strong genetic discontinuities dated approximately 5 MYA were discovered in the Mekong with limited geographical overlap, suggesting a historically dissected drainage between two sections and species colonisation via different routes. The widespread Lineage 1 showed a strong signature of population expansion during the Pleistocene climate oscillation. Haplotype characteristics in the Malay—Thai Peninsula are hypothesised to result from postglacial dispersal from the Mekong and Chao Phraya through an extended Pleistocene drainage network.


Mastacembelus favus Mastacembelidae Cytochrome b Phylogeography Divergence time Southeast Asia 



We would like to acknowledge Universiti Sains Malaysia for research funding (Research University Grant—1001/PBIOLOGI/815061) and for Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship Award (May 2013–June 2016) to J.A.F.J. for his Ph.D. programme. We would like to thank Phanara Thach, Nguyen Hong Quyet Thang, Dang Quang Hieu, Preeda Phumee, Tinnapop Kuanwilai, Muhammad Fahmi Ahmad, Wan Mohd Amzar Wan Zainuddin, Muhammad Izzat Husna, Syed Ahmad Rizal, Haslawati Baharuddin, Mustafa Asmuni, Abdul Ghani Hassan, Yuichi Kano, Tan Heok Hui and Shalahuddin Adnan for their assistance in collecting and providing the samples. We also wish to thank the following collaborating institutions for the loan of tissue and fin samples: Florida Museum of Natural History, Kyushu University, Nagao Natural Environment Foundation, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum and Fisheries Research Institute Malaysia. We also thank Sébastien Lavoué for his assistance with statistical analysis and critical review of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10750_2019_3987_MOESM1_ESM.docx (58 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 58 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamsari Amirul Firdaus Jamaluddin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nam So
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bui Minh Tam
    • 4
  • Amirrudin Ahmad
    • 5
    • 6
  • Chaiwut Grudpan
    • 7
  • Lawrence M. Page
    • 8
  • Md. Zain Khaironizam
    • 1
  • Siti Azizah Mohd Nor
    • 1
    • 9
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPulau PinangMalaysia
  2. 2.Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute (IFReDI), Fisheries Administration (FiA)Phnom PenhCambodia
  3. 3.Mekong River CommisionPhnom PenhCambodia
  4. 4.Department of Freshwater Aquaculture, College of Aquaculture and FisheriesCan Tho UniversityCan Tho CityVietnam
  5. 5.School of Marine and Enviromental SciencesUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuTerengganuMalaysia
  6. 6.Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable DevelopmentUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuTerengganuMalaysia
  7. 7.Department of Fisheries, Faculty of AgricultureUbon Ratchathani UniversityUbon RatchathaniThailand
  8. 8.Florida Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  9. 9.Institute of Marine BiotechnologyUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuTerengganuMalaysia

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