Strong genetic differentiation of the clam Meretrix lamarckii in the China Sea revealed by mitochondrial DNA marker

  • Jiantong Feng
  • Zeqin Fu
  • Yahong Guo
  • Jiji Li
  • Baoying Guo
  • Zhenming Lü
  • Yingying YeEmail author
Original Article


The hard clam Meretrix lamarckii is ecologically and economically important in the coastal regions of China. In this study, we evaluated the genetic diversity and population structure of six M. lamarckii populations in the East China Sea and the South China Sea using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) and cytochrome b (Cytb) genes. We obtained 582 bp of partly sequences comprising 28 novel haplotypes of COI gene from 138 specimens and 1168 bp of partly sequences comprising 22 novel haplotypes of Cytb gene from 125 specimens. The haplotype diversity of COI and Cytb genes ranged from 0.606 to 0.862 and 0.562 to 0.863, respectively. The nucleotide diversity ranged from 0.0015 to 0.0038 in COI gene and ranged from 0.0007 to 0.0032 in Cytb gene. Thus, there is moderate-level genetic diversity in M. lamarckii in the China Sea. The F-statistics showed that the Zhoushan (ZS) and Xiangshan (XS) populations were significantly (P < 0.01) differed from the populations of Wenzhou (WZ), Zhangpu (ZP), Shantou (ST), and Zhanjiang (ZJ) in both COI and Cytb genes. Both haplotypes network and plot of STRUCTURE analysis suggested obviously genetic divergence between East China Sea and South China Sea regions. Knowledge on genetic variation and population structure of M. lamarckii populations along the Southeast China Sea obtained from this study will support the aquaculture management and conservation of M. lamarckii in China.


Meretrix lamarckii Genetic diversity COI Cytb 


Author contributions

Y Y and B G designed the work, analyzed the data, acquisition the data, interpreted the results, wrote the manuscript, J F, Z F and Y G collected samples and prepared genomic DNA, performed experimental works, and check the data, J L and Z L designed the work, analyzed the data, wrote the manuscript, and provided funds for this study. All authors have given final approval for the publication of the article.


This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Grant No.: LQ18D060004), Scientific Research Startup Foundation of Zhejiang Ocean University (Funding No.: 12245090318) and the Project of Bureau of Science and Technology of Zhoushan (Funding No.: 2019F12004).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

“All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Engineering Research Center of Maricultural Facilities of China, College of Marine Science and TechnologyZhejiang Ocean UniversityZhoushanPeople’s Republic of China

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