Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 6, pp 1345–1364 | Cite as

Molecular population structure of the kuruma shrimp Penaeus japonicus species complex in western Pacific

  • K. H. Tsoi
  • T. Y. Chan
  • K. H. ChuEmail author
Research Article


In a previous study on the kuruma shrimp Penaeus japonicus from the South China Sea, we detected high genetic divergence between two morphologically similar varieties (I and II) with distinct color banding patterns on the carapace, indicating the occurrence of cryptic species. In the present study, we clarify the geographical distribution of the two varieties in the western Pacific by investigating the genetic differentiation of the shrimp from ten localities. Two Mediterranean populations are also included for comparison. Based on the mitochondrial DNA sequence data, the shrimps are separated into two distinct clades representing the two varieties. Variety I comprises populations from Japan and China (including Taiwan), while variety II consists of populations from Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines), Australia and the Mediterranean. Population differentiation is evident in variety II, as supported by restriction profiles of two mitochondrial markers and analysis of two microsatellite loci. The Australian population is genetically diverged from the others, whereas the Southeast Asian and Mediterranean populations show a close genetic relationship. Variety I does not occur in these three localities, while a small proportion of variety II is found along the northern coast of the South China Sea and Taiwan, which constitute the sympatric zone of the two varieties. The present study reveals high genetic diversity of P. japonicus. Further studies on the genetic structure of this species complex, particularly the populations in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean, are needed not only to understand the evolutionary history of the shrimp, but also to improve the knowledge-based fishery management and aquaculture development programs of this important biological resource.


Control Region Cryptic Species Hong Kong Mediterranean Population East Asian Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Sincere thanks are given to P.O. Ang Jr., C.C. Cheang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), S.A. Lehnert (CSIRO Division of Livestock Industries, Australia), P.K.L. Ng (National University of Singapore), J. Primavera (SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department, the Philippines), K. Tanaka (Kyorin University, Japan), K.T. Tai (University of Fishery, Vietnam), Y.H. Yung (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Z.Y. Wang (Jimei University, China), J. Wong and P.H. Wong (Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong) for collecting specimens. We are indebted to Z.Y. Wang (Jimei University, China), J. Tong (Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Y.K. Tam, C.P. Li and W. Lau (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) for technical advice, and to Z.Y. Wang, B.S. Galil (National Institute of Oceanography, Israel), A. Crosnier (Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris), P. Clark (Museum of Natural History, London), F. Coman and N. Preston (CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia) for personal communications on P. japonicus. We also thank T.D. Tzeng (She Te University, Taiwan) for providing us the CR sequences from his study for comparison, and B.K.K. Chan (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), C.K. Wong, J.W. Xu (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and the anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on the manuscript. The work described in this paper was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), China (Project No. CUHK4157/01M).


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© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatin, Hong KongChina
  2. 2.Institute of Marine BiologyNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelungTaiwan

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