High genetic diversity within the morphologically conservative dwarf loach, Kichulchoia brevifasciata (Teleostei: Cobitidae), an endangered freshwater fish from South Korea

Daemin Kim, Kevin W. Conway, Hyung Bae Jeon, Ye Seul Kwon, Yong Jin Won

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dwarf loach, Kichulchoia brevifasciata, is a primary freshwater fish endemic to South Korea (Republic of Korea). Due to its limited geographic range, special habitat requirements, and scarcity, this species has been considered one of the most endangered cobitid loaches in the world. Gene tree and species tree reconstruction derived from mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data supports the exclusivity of K. brevifasciata and the existence of two highly distinct genetic lineages (eastern and western lineages). Intraspecific genetic variation based on the corrected genetic distance ranged from 0.0013 to 0.0017 (cytochrome b) and 0-0.0012 (nuclear loci) within each lineage and 0.0349 (cytochrome b) and 0.0037-0.0104 (nuclear loci) between the lineages. Although morphologically homogeneous, eastern and western lineages were estimated to have diverged roughly 2.79 million years ago (4.25-1.42, 95 % HPD). Future conservation efforts for K. brevifasciata should consider these genetically distinct lineages as separate evolutionary entities and adopt conservation efforts accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-769
Number of pages13
JournalConservation Genetics
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Drew Dittmer (Texas A&M University) for conducting the PCA analysis, Michael Vincent Hirt (University of Minnesota), Mariana Mateos, James Woolley and Maura Palacios (Texas A&M University) for their advice in analysis and laboratory procedure, and Andrew Simons (University of Minnesota), Jessica Light and Elizabeth Marchio (Texas A&M University), and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. Eun-Jin Kim (Kyushu University) and Seong-Jang Jo provided advice that aided in the capture of specimens. We also thank Wan-Ok Lee (Korean National Fisheries Research & Development Institute) for providing the samples of Cobitis choii and Kichulchoia multifasciata used in this study. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0024578) to YJ Won. Funds from Texas Agrilife Research (to KW Conway) provided financial support to D Kim during 2011 and 2012. This is publication number 1444 of the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections at Texas A&M University.

Keywords

  • Cobitoidea
  • Cypriniformes
  • Divergence time estimation
  • Endangered species
  • Species tree analysis

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