Two mitochondrial lineages in Korean freshwater Corbicula (Corbiculidae: Bivalvia)

Joong Ki Park, Byung Lae Choe, Keeseon S. Eom

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7 Scopus citations


The Korean freshwater Corbicula was surveyed genetically by sequencing 614-bp homologous fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I subunit. Among a total of 127 individuals collected from 12 Korean freshwater localities we found only two COI haplo-types and these differed by a total of 9 base substitutions. Although the sequence divergence between the two haplotypes is moderate (p = 1.47%), placing the two mitotypic sequences in the context of Asian mtDNA phylogeny reveals that Korean freshwater Corbicula is comprised of two independent freshwater mitochondrial lineages. These results are in serious disagreement with the long-standing conclusions of earlier conchology-based taxonomic work on Korean Corbicula in which a number of species names (a minimum of 10 nominal species) have been used. This indicates that morphological characteristics alone are poor criteria for specics-level identification in this group. In addition, our COI dataset shows that there is an extremely low level of genetic variation in Korean freshwater populations, suggesting that these populations have passed through a severe population bottleneck that greatly reduced their genetic variability. Our data also provide new information on the biogeographic distribution of Korean freshwater Corbicula. When haplotypic frequencies were compared, it was evident that the two Korean freshwater mitochondrial lineages have achieved very different distribution ranges: the predominant lineage (FWKR1) is widely distributed in Korean freshwater systems, whereas the minor lineage (FWKR2) is restricted to a relatively narrow range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-414
Number of pages5
JournalMolecules and Cells
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2004


  • Bivalvia
  • COI mtDNA
  • Freshwater Corbicula
  • Korea


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