Comparative population genetics of swimming crab host (Portunus pelagicus) and common symbiotic barnacle (Octolasmis angulata) in Vietnam

Binh Thuy Dang1, Oanh Thi Truong1, Sang Quang Tran1 and Henrik Glenner2
1 Institute for Biotechnology and Environment, Nha Trang University, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam
2 Department of Biological Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway


Background. By comparing spatial geographical structures of host populations with that of their symbionts light can be shed on their biological interactions, and the degree of congruence between host and symbiont phylogeographies should reflect their life histories and especially dispersal mechanisms.

Methods. Here, we analyzed the genetic diversity and structure of a host, the blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus, and its symbiotic pedunculate barnacle Octolasmis angulata from six location sites representing three geographic regions (north, central and south) along the Vietnam coastline. High levels of congruence in their phylogeographic patterns were expected as they both undergo planktonic larval stages.
Results. Based on the COI mtDNA markers, O. angulata populations showed higher genetic diversity in comparison with their host P. pelagicus (number of haplotype/individuals, haplotype and nucleotide diversity are 119/192, 0.991 ± 0.002 and 0.02; and 89/160, 0.913 ± 0.02 and 0.015, respectively). Pairwise Fst and AMOVA analyses showed a more pronounced population structure in the symbiotic barnacle than in its crab host. The DAPC analyses identified three genetic clusters. However, both haplotype networks and scatter plots supported connectivity of the host and the symbiotic barnacle throughout their distribution range, except for low subdivision of southern population. Isolation by distance were detected only for the symbiont O. angulata (R2 D 0.332, P D
0.05), while dbMEM supported spatial structure of both partners, but only at MEM-1 (Obs. 0.2686, P < 0.01 and Obs. 0.2096, P < 0.01, respectively).