A genetic diversity assessment of Halymenia malaysiana (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) from Malaysia and the Philippines based on COI-5P and rbcL sequences
Little is known about the genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure of seaweeds in Southeast Asia particularly for Halymenia species. Herein, molecular analyses based on DNA sequences of the COI-5P and rbcL were performed to assess the genetic structure within the foliose Halymenia species H. malaysiana in Malaysia and the Philippines. A total of ten COI-5P haplotypes and eight rbcL haplotypes were recognized from 42 specimens of H. malaysiana examined in this study. The genetic diversities of H. malaysiana were relatively higher based on the COI-5P sequences compared with the rbcL sequences. The results showed that populations from Peninsular Malaysia (East, South, and West coast) were genetically homogenous and exhibited low level of genetic divergence from populations from East Malaysia. In contrast, populations from the Philippines were distinct from Malaysian populations. Site-specific distribution was also evident in the Philippine populations of H. malaysiana.
KeywordsCOI-5P Halymenia malaysiana Rhodophyta Genetic variation Phylogeography rbcL Red algae
We would like to thank the University of Malaya and the Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences for providing various research facilities.
This study was funded in part by the E-science Fund (04-01-03-SF0672) and the Postgraduate Research Fund (PG081-2013A). We would also like to thank the National University of Malaysia and Dr. Adam Lim from Save Our Seahorses Malaysia for organizing the East-Johor and Pulau Merambong expeditions, respectively. Support was provided by the Borneo Marine Research Institute (Universiti Malaysia Sabah), the National Oceanography Directorate (NODMOSTI), the World Wildlife Fund—Malaysia, the Economic Planning Unit Sabah, Sabah Parks, and the Department of Fisheries Sabah.
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