Research Article

Population genetics of the Pacific abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) in Korea inferred from microsatellite marker analysis

Published: November 12, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (4) : 3904-3922 DOI: 10.4238/2012.November.12.8

Abstract

Populations of the Pacific abalone, Haliotis discus hannai, have been severely overexploited over the past few decades in Korea. Information regarding the levels of genetic variability and structure within populations is insufficient for the development of effective strategies for conservation of genetic diversity of this species. To assess the genetic status of this species, we examined variation at six microsatellite loci in 842 individuals of Pacific abalone collected from three hatchery stocks of the main aquaculture areas and eight wild populations, which were two from the East Sea, two from the West Sea and three from the South Sea. High levels of polymorphism at these microsatellite loci were found in both the wild and hatchery populations. The genetic variation in the hatchery stocks [overall number of alleles (NA) = 24.00; allelic richness (AR) = 19.71; observed heterozygosity (HO) = 0.733] was similar to that of the wild (overall NA = 28.13; AR = 22.62; HO = 0.775) populations. Low levels of inbreeding and significant Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium deviations were detected in both the wild and hatchery populations. Significant FST values were observed for the hatchery stocks and in most cases between the wild and hatchery populations (overall FST = 0.017, P FST value, phylogenetic tree clustering, PCA and MDS analyses, structure analysis, and AMOVA. This strong biogeographic structure of H. d. hannai in Korea may be considered to be independent management units. This study demonstrates the feasibility of microsatellite analyses for the monitoring of genetic diversity and for revealing the population structure of the wild Pacific abalone. This information will be useful for the proper management and conservation of H. d. hannai in Korea.

Populations of the Pacific abalone, Haliotis discus hannai, have been severely overexploited over the past few decades in Korea. Information regarding the levels of genetic variability and structure within populations is insufficient for the development of effective strategies for conservation of genetic diversity of this species. To assess the genetic status of this species, we examined variation at six microsatellite loci in 842 individuals of Pacific abalone collected from three hatchery stocks of the main aquaculture areas and eight wild populations, which were two from the East Sea, two from the West Sea and three from the South Sea. High levels of polymorphism at these microsatellite loci were found in both the wild and hatchery populations. The genetic variation in the hatchery stocks [overall number of alleles (NA) = 24.00; allelic richness (AR) = 19.71; observed heterozygosity (HO) = 0.733] was similar to that of the wild (overall NA = 28.13; AR = 22.62; HO = 0.775) populations. Low levels of inbreeding and significant Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium deviations were detected in both the wild and hatchery populations. Significant FST values were observed for the hatchery stocks and in most cases between the wild and hatchery populations (overall FST = 0.017, P FST value, phylogenetic tree clustering, PCA and MDS analyses, structure analysis, and AMOVA. This strong biogeographic structure of H. d. hannai in Korea may be considered to be independent management units. This study demonstrates the feasibility of microsatellite analyses for the monitoring of genetic diversity and for revealing the population structure of the wild Pacific abalone. This information will be useful for the proper management and conservation of H. d. hannai in Korea.

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