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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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.

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Jamaluddin, J.A.F., So, N., Tam, B.M. et al. Genetic variation, demographic history and phylogeography of tire track eel, Mastacembelus favus (Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae) in Southeast Asia. Hydrobiologia 838, 163–182 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-019-03987-3

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Keywords

  • Mastacembelus favus
  • Mastacembelidae
  • Cytochrome b
  • Phylogeography
  • Divergence time
  • Southeast Asia