Vol. 45 No. 1, 2006
ITS Ribosomal DNA Distinctions and the Genetic Structures of Populations of Two Sympatric Species of Pavona (Cnidaria: Scleractinia) from Mauritius
Kamla Ruby Moothien Pillay1,*, Takashi Asahida2, Chaolun Allen Chen3, Hiroaki Terashima2, and Hitoshi Ida2
1Mauritius Oceanography Institute, France Centre, Victoria Avenue, Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius
2School of Fisheries Sciences, Kitasato University, Sanriku, Ofunato, Iwate 022-0101, Japan
3Research Center for Biodiversity, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan 115
Kamla Ruby Moothien Pillay, Takashi Asahida, Chaolun Allen Chen, Hiroaki Terashima, and Hitoshi Ida (2006) In this study, we examined the genetic differences between Pavona cactus and P. decussata,
two of the major components of the shallow reef flat coral communities
in Mauritius, which not only occur in sympatry but are often
intricately associated. Using sequences of ribosomal internal
transcribed spacers (ITSs), we conducted phylogenetic, population, and
nested clade analyses (NCA) on both species sampled from Bambous
Virieux on the southeastern coast and Trou aux Biches on the
northwestern coast of the island. The phylogenetic analysis of ITS
sequence types supported the distinct species status of P. cactus and P. decussata. The significant difference detected by the NCA indicated that both P. cactus and P. decussata
in Mauritius constitute statistically distinguishable lineages. No
population structure was detected between the two geographic locations.
We conclude that P. cactus and P. decussata remain distinct evolutionary units despite their ecological uniqueness in Mauritius.
Key words: Species boundaries, Internal transcribed spacer (ITS), Hybridization, Reproductive barriers, Population structure.
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