Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 103–115 | Cite as

Genetic identification of Thunnus orientalis, T. thynnus, and T. maccoyii by a cytochrome b gene analysis

  • Mei-Chen Tseng
  • Jen-Chieh Shiao
  • Yin-Huei Hung


The three species of bluefin tunas, Thunnus orientalis, T. maccoyii, and T. thynnus, are morphologically similar, which can pose problems for fisheries management and marketing. We examined intraspecific genetic diversity and interspecific genetic boundaries among these three species by analyzing the cytochrome (Cyt) b gene. The full lengths of the nucleotide sequences were 1,141 bp in T. orientalis and T. thynnus and ranged 1,138 ~ 1,141 bp in T. maccoyii. Mean nucleotide diversities were 0.0019 ± 0.0002 in T. thynnus (n = 8), 0.0063 ± 0.0005 in T. orientalis (n = 22), and 0.0059 ± 0.0007 in T. maccoyii (n = 24). Average numbers of nucleotide differences and nucleotide substitutions per site among the three species were 18.748 ± 2.879 and 0.017 ± 0.003, respectively. The Neighbor-joining and minimum-evolution trees showed distinct clades with high bootstrapping value support, and the high Fst value indicated significant differentiation among the three species. T. thynnus, T. orientalis, and T. maccoyii could be individually distinguished from each other Thunnus tunas by the 132nd, 375th, and 1,023rd sites of the Cyt b sequences. In the mismatch analysis, Fu’s and Tajima’s tests of sequences from T. orientalis and T. maccoyii provided evidence of their population expansion dating to the middle Pleistocene.


Middle Pleistocene Nucleotide diversity Population expansion Tuna 



We are extremely grateful to S.L. Lin and N.C. Chen for their help with laboratory work. This study was financially supported by a grant (96AS-15.1.2-FA-F2 (11)) from the Taiwan Fishery Agency to J.C. Shiao.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei-Chen Tseng
    • 1
  • Jen-Chieh Shiao
    • 2
  • Yin-Huei Hung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AquacultureNational Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyPingtungRepublic of China
  2. 2.Institute of OceanographyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiRepublic of China

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