• Cherax quadricarinatus;
  • microsatellite;
  • genetic diversity;
  • differentiation and applicability


The redclaw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens) accounts for the entire commercial production of freshwater crayfish in Australia. Two forms have been recognized, an ‘Eastern’ form in northern Queensland and a ‘Western’ form in the Northern Territory and far northern Western Australia. To date, only the Eastern form has been exported overseas for culture (including to China). The genetic structure of three Chinese redclaw crayfish culture lines from three different geographical locations in China (Xiamen in Fujian Province, Guangzhou in Guangdong Province and Chongming in Shanghai) were investigated for their levels and patterns of genetic diversity using microsatellite markers. Twenty-eight SSR markers were isolated and used to analyse genetic diversity levels in three redclaw crayfish culture lines in China. This study set out to improve the current understanding of the molecular genetic characteristics of imported strains of redclaw crayfish reared in China. Microsatellite analysis revealed moderate allelic and high gene diversity in all three culture lines. Polymorphism information content estimates for polymorphic loci varied between 0.1168 and 0.8040, while pairwise FST values among culture lines were moderate (0.0020–0.1244). The highest estimate of divergence was evident between the Xiamen and Guangzhou populations.