Population structure of Hirundichthys oxycephalus in the northwestern Pacific inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene
The amphidromous goby Sicyopterus japonicus is distributed throughout southern Taiwan and Japan. Larvae of this freshwater fish go through a long marine stage. This migratory mode influences population genetic structure. We examined the genetic diversity, population differentiation, and demographic history of S. japonicus based on the mitochondrial DNA control region. We identified 102 haplotypes from 107 S. japonicus individuals from 22 populations collected from Taiwan and Islet Lanyu. High mean haplotype diversity (h = 0.999) versus low nucleotide diversity (θπ = 0.008) was detected across populations. There was low correspondence between clusters identified in the neighbor-joining tree and geographical region, as also indicated by AMOVA and pairwise F(ST) estimates. Both mismatch distribution analysis and Tajima's D test indicated that S. japonicus likely experienced a demographic expansion. Using a Bayesian skyline plot approach, we estimated the time of onset of the expansion of S. japonicus at 135 kyr (during the Pleistocene) and the time of stable effective population size at approximately 2.5 kyr (last glacial maximum). Based on these results, we suggest 1) a panmictic population at the oceanic planktonic larval stage, mediated by the Kuroshio current; 2) a long planktonic marine stage and long period of dispersal, which may have permitted efficient tracking of environmental shifts during the Pleistocene; and 3) a stable, constant population size ever since the last glacial maximum.