Genetic Diversity of the Habitat-forming Red Alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla along Chinese Coasts

Ruoyu Liu 1,2 Zhongmin Sun 1,3 Jianting Yao 1,4 Zimin Hu 1,4 Delin Duan 1,4

(1.Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266071)
(2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049)
(3.Department of Marine Organism Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266071)
(4.Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, Shandong 266237)

【Abstract】As a habitat-forming species, the red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla has been noted to play an essential role in shaping coastal marine communities and maintaining intertidal ecosystems along Chinese coasts. However, few studies have been conducted that analyzed the genetic structure of the population and the distribution patterns of genetic variation. In this study, we compiled partial mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (cox1) of 19 G. vermiculophylla populations (461 individuals) and performed phylogenetic analysis and population genetic surveys. A total of 461 mt-DNA cox1 sequences were obtained and edited into 641 bp, which contained 21 polymorphic sites and yielded 15 haplotypes. Phylogenetic inferences, haplotype networking, and principal component analysis consistently indicated that G. vermiculophylla populations diverged into two groups: the north group is comprised of specimens from the Yellow-Bohai Sea and the Shengsi Islands, while the south group is comprised of specimens from six locations south to Xiamen, Fujian Province. Analysis of the molecular variation and Nei's genetic distances indicated low genetic differentiation between populations in each group while group-level genetic divergence is comparable to the degree of subspecies differentiation.

【Keywords】 Gracilaria vermiculophylla; mitochondrial cox1; phylogenetics; genetic diversity; population genetic differentiation;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (31370264)

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This Article



Vol 24, No. 07, Pages 781-790

July 2016


Article Outline



  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • References