Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (7): 781-790.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016038

Special Issue: 全球气候变化下的海洋生物多样性专辑

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Genetic diversity of the habitat-forming red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla along Chinese coasts

Ruoyu Liu1,2, Zhongmin Sun1,3, Jianting Yao1,4, Zimin Hu1,4,*(), Delin Duan1,4,*()   

  1. 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
  • Received:2016-02-03 Accepted:2016-06-07 Online:2016-07-20 Published:2016-08-04
  • Contact: Hu Zimin,Duan Delin


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 analyze 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 coordinate analysis consistently indicated that G. vermiculophylla populations diverged into two groups: the northern group is comprised of specimens from the Yellow-Bohai Sea and the Shengsi Islands, while the southern group is comprised of specimens from six locations south to Xiamen, Fujian Province. Analysis of the molecular variance 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.

Key words: Gracilaria vermiculophylla, mitochondrial cox1, phylogenetics, genetic diversity, population genetic differentiation