Regional patterns of mtDNA diversity in Styela plicata, an invasive ascidian, from Australian and New Zealand marinas

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The ascidian Styela plicata is abundant in harbours and marinas worldwide and has likely reached this distribution via human-mediated dispersal. Previous worldwide surveys based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase one (COI) sequences have described two divergent clades, showing overlapping distributions and geographically widespread haplotypes. These patterns are consistent with recent mixing among genetically differentiated groups arising from multiple introductions from historically distinct sources. In contrast, a study of Australian S. plicata using nuclear markers found that population differentiation along the eastern coast related to geographic distance and no evidence for admixture between previously isolated genetic groups. We re-examined the genetic patterns of Australian S. plicata populations using mtDNA (CO1) to place their genetic patterns within a global context, and we examined New Zealand populations for the first time. We found that the haplotypic compositions of Australian and New Zealand populations are largely representative of other worldwide populations. The New Zealand populations, however, exhibited reduced diversity, being potentially indicative of a severely bottlenecked colonisation event. In contrast to results from nuclear markers, population differentiation of mtDNA among Australian S. plicata was unrelated to geographic distance. The discrepancy between markers is likely to be a consequence of non-equilibrium population genetic processes that typify non-indigenous species. © 2013 CSIRO.
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Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Physical Sciences, Fisheries, Limnology, Marine & Freshwater Biology, Oceanography, FISHERIES, LIMNOLOGY, MARINE & FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, OCEANOGRAPHY, cosmopolitan, human-mediated dispersal, invasive, mitochondrial DNA, non-indigenous species, phylogeography, CHINESE MITTEN CRAB, BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS, GENETIC-STRUCTURE, ERIOCHEIR-SINENSIS, MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA, POLYMORPHISM, VARIABILITY, POPULATIONS, FACILITATE, EVOLUTION
MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, 2013, 64 (2), pp. 139 - 145 (7)