Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.07.27; 11.12)

Population Genetic Structures of the Jellyfish Aurelia coerulea Polyps on Korean Coasts and Implications as Revealed by Mitochondrial COI

Yoseph Seo1,, Buhari Lawan Muhammad1,, Jinho Chae2, and Jang-Seu Ki1,*


1Department of Biotechnology, Sangmyung University, Seoul 03016, South Korea. E-mail: akdldytpq12@gmail.com (Seo); buharilawan20@gmail.com (Muhammad); jinhochae@gmail.com (Chae)
2Marine Environmental Research and Information Laboratory, Gunpo 15850, South Korea. *Correspondence: E-mail: kijs@smu.ac.kr (Ki). Tel: +82-2-2287-5449. Fax: +82-2-2287-0070.

YS and BKM contributed equally to this work.
Received 1 April 2021 / Accepted 20 July 2021
Communicated by James D. Reimer

The moon jellyfish Aurelia coerulea, is globally distributed, and its blooms have been responsible for severe environmental impacts. Benthic polyp populations are important for forming and maintaining medusa populations; however, their genetic structures are mostly unknown. Here, we analysed the genetic structure and phylogeographic pattern of A. coerulea polyps using the mitochondrial COI of 229 specimens collected from four different coastal regions of Korea. Molecular discrimination by COI assigned all polyps to A. coruelea. Population genetics revealed 53 haplotypes with high diversity and significant genetic structure, distinguishing two haplogroups (A and B) that coexist in all regions. Haplogroup A exhibited a star-like haplotype network pattern, while haplogroup B demonstrated a branched haplotype network pattern. Our results suggest that, the two haplogroups detected have existed in sympatry along Korean coasts. However, haplogroup A may have been established by a recent population expansion, while haplogroup B may have been established a long time ago. The strong genetic structure found within the polyp population of A. coerulea may have an effect on the moon jellyfish blooms on Korean coasts.

Key words: A. coerulea, Benthic polyp, Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, Genetic diversity, Jellyfish bloom.

Citation: Seo Y, Muhammad BW, Chae J, Ki JS. 2021. Population genetic structures of the jellyfish Aurelia coerulea polyps on Korean coasts and implications as revealed by Mitochondrial COI. Zool Stud 60:63. doi:10.6620/ZS.2021.60-63.

Supplementary materials: Fig. S1Fig. S2Fig. S3Table S1Table S2Table S3