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Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(3):323-332. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.323

Research Paper

Genetic Differentiation among Populations and Color Variants of Sea Cucumbers (Stichopus Japonicus) from Korea and China

Jung-Ha Kang1, Yi-Kyong Kim1, Mi-Jung Kim1, Jung-Yeon Park1, Chul-Min An1, Bong-Seok Kim1, Je-Cheon Jun2, Sang-Kyu Kim1 ✉

1. Biotechnology Research Division, NFRDI, Busan 619-705, Korea
2. Aquaculture Management Division, NFRDI, Busan 619-705, Korea

Abstract

The Far Eastern sea cucumber, Stichopus japonicus, is a favored food in Eastern Asia, including Korea, Japan, and China. Aquaculture production of this species has increased because of recent declines in natural stocks and government-operated stock release programs are ongoing. Therefore, the analyses of genetic structure in wild and hatchery populations are necessary to maintain the genetic diversity of this valuable marine resource. In addition, given that sea cucumber color affects market price, with the rare, possibly reproductively isolated, red type being the most valuable, an understanding of the genetic structure and diversity in color variation of green and red types is necessary. We analyzed the genetic structure of wild and hatchery-produced green type S. japonicus from Korea and China, and wild red type from Korea using 9 microsatellite makers. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 11 to 29 across all populations. The mean allele numbers of the green types from Korea (10.6) and China (10.1) were similar, but differed slightly from that of the red type (9.1). Pairwise multilocus FST and genetic distance estimations showed no significant differences between the green types from Korea and China, whereas the differences between the green and red types were significant. This was clearly illustrated by a UPGMA dendrogram, in which the two close subclusters of green types were completely separated from the red type. In addition, the allele frequencies of the green and red types were significantly different. Assignment tests correctly assigned 100% (quality index 99.97%) of individuals to their original color types and demonstrated the feasibility of microsatellite analysis for discrimination between color types.

Keywords: Stichopus japonicus, microsatellite, genetic differentiation, color variants

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How to cite this article:
Kang JH, Kim YK, Kim MJ, Park JY, An CM, Kim BS, Jun JC, Kim SK. Genetic Differentiation among Populations and Color Variants of Sea Cucumbers (Stichopus Japonicus) from Korea and China. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(3):323-332. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.323. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v07p0323.htm