Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 2119–2122 | Cite as

Phylogeographic structure of Octopus vulgaris in South Africa revisited: identification of a second lineage near Durban harbour

  • P. R. TeskeEmail author
  • A. Oosthuizen
  • I. Papadopoulos
  • N. P. Barker
Research Article


In a previous study that investigated genetic structure of Octopus vulgaris along the South African coast by sequencing the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase III gene (COIII), all sequences generated were identical. Such a finding is unusual, because mitochondrial DNA mutates quickly, and several marine invertebrates present in southern Africa show considerable genetic variation and structure. We reanalysed the samples using two different mitochondrial markers, namely cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and the large ribosomal subunit (16S rRNA). Sequences of both these markers showed variation. The conclusion of the previous study, that South Africa’s O. vulgaris population is characterised by a lack of genetic structure along the coast, is rejected. Some specimens from Durban (southeast Africa) were genetically more different from those found in the remainder of the country than were specimens from other regions (Tristan da Cunha and Senegal). We suggest that the lineage in Durban may have been recently introduced.


Ballast Water South African Population Relative Rate Test Squid Species Fourfold Degenerate Site 
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.



We are grateful to Francisco Santaclara (Vigo, Spain) for providing tissue samples from Spain and Senegal, to James Glass for providing samples from Tristan da Cunha, and to Pierre Pradervand for providing samples from Durban and Umhlanga. We also thank three anonymous referees for some useful comments that considerably improved the quality of this manuscript. This study was supported by a Claude Harris Leon Foundation postdoctoral research fellowship awarded to PRT, Rhodes University and an NRF grant to NPB (GUN 2069119). The experiments conducted in this study comply with current South African laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. R. Teske
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Oosthuizen
    • 3
  • I. Papadopoulos
    • 2
    • 4
  • N. P. Barker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and EntomologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Molecular Ecology and Systematics Group, Botany DepartmentRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Conservation Services, South African National ParksPort ElizabethSouth Africa
  4. 4.Zoology DepartmentNelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa

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