We examined the genetic population diversity of the wild Pacific abalone, Haliotis discus hannai and H. discus discus in Korea and Japan using microsatellite DNA markers. High levels of genetic diversity were detected in all populations, as indicated by the high levels of heterozygosity (observed heterozygosity: H Obs = 0.703-0.812; expected heterozygosity: H Exp = 0.761-0.846) and allelic diversity (mean number of alleles per locus: A Obs = 11.7-14.2; allelic richness: A Rich = 11.0-13.6). The genetic structure of the 14 populations was separated into three groups (group 1: all except two H. discus hannai populations (K7 and K8) from the Korea East Sea; group 2: two H. discus hannai populations (K7 and K8) of the Korea East Sea; group 3: all H. discus discus populations). Significant genetic differences were observed not only between H. discus hannai and H. discus discus populations, but also within H. discus hannai. The genetic differentiation observed in H. discus abalone suggests that they have evolved as semi-independent evolutionary units and may have developed local adaptations to their respective habitats. The genetic differentiation within H. discus hannai populations is thought to have occurred due to characteristic differences of geographical marine environments. The findings of the present study will be useful in the management and conservation of Pacific abalone resources.
- Haliotis discus discus
- Haliotis discus hannai
- Population structure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics