Background: The genetic structure of marine organisms in the East Asian region has long been a subject of interest. Two grapsid crab species, Hemigrapsus penicillatus (De Haan, 1835) and Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan, 1835), are commonly found in the rocky intertidal zones around this region. They are known to spread via larval migration, which makes them an appropriate model species for observing the genetic structure of East Asian intertidal invertebrate animals. Objective: We investigated the genetic structure of the East Asian crabs H. penicillatus and H. sanguineus. Methods: We collected specimens of H. penicillatus from seven locations (42 individuals) and of H. sanguineus from ten locations (58 individuals) in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. We investigated and compared the genetic diversity and structure of populations of these species using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences. Results: Our results show that both species are genetically structured between South Korea and Japan, and that the Taiwan population forms a cluster that is separate from those of the other countries. Populations of H. penicillatus contain less genetic diversity than those of H. sanguineus. Conclusion: These results suggest that there is a genetic structure between the two species at present in East Asia.
- East Asia
- Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I genes
- Population structure
- Sea current