Journal Article

Contrasting life histories contribute to divergent patterns of genetic diversity and population connectivity in freshwater sculpin fishes

Baek, S.Y., Kang, J.H., Jo, S.H., Jang, J.E., Byeon, S.Y., Wang, J.H., Lee, H.G., Choi, J.K. and Lee, H.J.

Record Number:
3910
Year:
2018
Journal:
BMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume:
18:52
Abstract:
Life history characteristics are considered important factors influencing the evolutionary processes of natural populations, including the patterns of population genetic structure of a species. The sister species Cottus hangiongensis and C. koreanus are small bottom-dwelling freshwater sculpin fishes from South Korea that display marked life history divergence but are morphologically nearly indistinguishable. Cottus hangiongensis evolved an ‘amphidromous’ life history with a post-hatching pelagic larval phase. They spawn many small eggs in the low reaches of rivers, and hatched larvae migrate to the sea before returning to grow to maturity in the river mouth. In contrast, C. koreanus evolved a ‘fluvial’ landlocked type with benthic larvae. They release a smaller number of larger eggs, and the larvae undergo direct development, remaining benthic in the upstream rivers throughout their entire lives. We tested whether there were differences in patterns and levels of within-population genetic diversities and spatial population structure between the two closely related Korean sculpins using mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and seven nuclear microsatellite loci. Results The combined analyses of both marker sets revealed that C. hangiongensis harboured considerably higher levels of within-population genetic diversities (e.g. haplotype/allelic richness, heterozygosities) than C. koreanus. In contrast, the fluvial sculpin exhibited noticeably more spatial population structure than did the amphidromous sculpin, as suggested by pairwise FST statistics. The finding that C. hangiongensis individuals comprised a single random mating population across the east-flowing river basins in the Korean Peninsula, whereas C. koreanus individuals comprised genetically discrete individual populations, was further supported by an individual-based Bayesian population assignment and also factorial correspondence analyses. Conclusions The higher genetic diversity, but lower population structure, of the amphidromous sculpin relative to the fluvial sculpin may have resulted from its greater larval dispersal and also possibly, higher fecundity accompanied by an amphidromous life history. Hence, we conclude that contrasting early life histories – including the presence or absence of the pelagic larval phase – may have led to divergent patterns of within-population genetic diversities and spatial population structure between the sister Cottus species following speciation from a common ancestor of marine sculpin. Keywords CottidaeDispersal capacityFreshwater adaptationLarval stageLife historyPopulation geneticsSculpinSpeciation
Times Cited:
3
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