The three mackerel species, Rastrelliger kanagurta, Rastrelliger brachysoma, and Rastrelliger faughni, co-occur in the central part of the Indo-West Pacific Ocean, and together represent important fisheries resources. However, they have sometimes been collectively referred to as “Rastrelliger spp.” in the fisheries statistics, owing to their morphological similarity. Therefore, species-specific data on landings, effort, and population status are lacking, undermining the appropriate resource management. The present study provides a rapid and cost-effective method based on polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis to distinguish the three species. Digestion of the PCR products of 1247 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA encompassing the complete sequence of cytochrome b gene using two restriction enzymes yielded diagnostic restriction patterns for the three species, thereby enabling accurate identification.
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We thank G. Ogihara, M. Matsunuma, M. Meguro [formerly Kagoshima University Museum (KAUM)], K. Koeda, T. Yoshida, S. Tashiro, B. Jeong, H. Hata (KAUM), and Y. Ogata (formerly RIHN) for the curatorial assistance and sampling of specimens. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This study was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B: 26840131) and Scientific Research (C: 26450265) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the JSPS Asian Core Program “Establishment of Research and Education Network on Coastal Marine Science in Southeast Asia,” the “Biological Properties of Biodiversity Hotspots in Japan” project of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan, and the “Coastal Area Capability Enhancement in Southeast Asia” project of RIHN, Japan.
Communicated by F. Leese
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Muto, N., Takeshima, H., Kakioka, R. et al. Rapid and cost-effective molecular identification of the three mackerel species of the genus Rastrelliger (Perciformes: Scombridae) using PCR-RFLP analysis. Mar Biodiv 47, 609–611 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12526-016-0537-7