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Low genetic variability in an endangered population of fiddler crab Uca arcuata on Okinawajima Island: analysis of mitochondrial DNA

Authors

  • Misuzu AOKI,

    1. Laboratory of Marine Biology and Coral Reef Studies, Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213,
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    • a

      Present address: Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, Nara Women's University, Kitauoya-nishimachi, Nara 630-8506, Japan.

  • Tohru NARUSE,

    1. Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543,
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  • Jin-Hua CHENG,

    1. Tungkang Biotechnology Research Center, Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute, Tungkang, Pingtung 92804, Taiwan, and
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  • Yasunari SUZUKI,

    1. Marine World Umino-nakamichi, Higashiku, Fukuoka 811-0321, Japan
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  • Hideyuki IMAI

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Marine Biology and Coral Reef Studies, Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213,
      *Tel: 81-98-895-8554.
      Fax: 81-98-895-8576. Email: imai@sci.u-ryukyu.ac.jp
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*Tel: 81-98-895-8554.
Fax: 81-98-895-8576. Email: imai@sci.u-ryukyu.ac.jp

Abstract

ABSTRACT:  Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was performed on polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA fragments containing the D-loop, ND2, and CO I genes of fiddler crab Uca arcuata mitochondrial DNA. In total, 316 individuals from six populations in Japan and two populations in Taiwan were analyzed using five restriction endonucleases (AfaI, BcnI, Cfr13I, HaeIII and HinfI), yielding 85 haplotypes. Samples were taken from Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawajima Island, which is the only known distribution of U. arcuata in the Ryukyu Archipelago. The Okinawajima Island population is isolated geographically from others and showed a marked low genetic variability (h = 0.2539, π = 0.0005) and significant differentiation from other population samples in haplotype composition. We suggest that a substantial decrease in the genetic variability of the Okinawajima Island population was caused by genetic drift under the conditions of small population size and low gene flow from other populations. It is important to conserve the intertidal zone in Nakagusuku Bay for the maintenance of this endangered population.

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