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Mechanisms of peripheral phylogeographic divergence in the indo-Pacific: lessons from the spiny lobster Panulirus homarus


Farhadi, A and Jeffs, AG and Farahmand, H and Rejiniemon, TS and Smith, G and Lavery, SD, Mechanisms of peripheral phylogeographic divergence in the indo-Pacific: lessons from the spiny lobster Panulirus homarus, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17 Article 195. ISSN 1471-2148 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12862-017-1050-8



There is increasing recognition of the concordance between marine biogeographic and phylogeographic boundaries. However, it is still unclear how population-level divergence translates into species-level divergence, and what are the principal factors that first initiate that divergence, and then maintain reproductive isolation. This study examines the likely forces driving population and lineage divergences in the broadly-distributed Indo-Pacific spiny lobster Panulirus homarus, which has peripheral divergent lineages in the west and east. The study focuses particularly on the West Indian Ocean, which is emerging as a region of unexpected diversity. Mitochondrial control region (mtCR) and COI sequences as well as genotypes of 9 microsatellite loci were examined in 410 individuals from 17 locations grouped into 7 regions from South Africa in the west, and eastward across to Taiwan and the Marquesas Islands. Phylogenetic and population-level analyses were used to test the significance and timing of divergences and describe the genetic relationships among populations.


Analyses of the mtCR revealed high levels of divergence among the seven regions (ФST = 0.594, P < 0.001). Microsatellite analyses also revealed significant divergence among regions, but at a much lower level (FST = 0.066, P < 0.001). The results reveal different patterns of mtCR v. nDNA divergence between the two distinct peripheral lineages: a subspecies in South Africa and Madagascar, and a phylogeographically diverged population in the Marquesas. The results also expose a number of other more fine-scale population divergences, particularly in the Indian Ocean.


The divergence of peripheral lineages in the west and east of the speciesí range appear to have been initiated and maintained by very different processes. The pattern of mitochondrial and nuclear divergence of the western lineage, implicates processes of parapatric isolation, secondary contact and introgression, and suggests possible maintenance through adaptation and behavioural reproductive isolation. In contrast, the eastern lineage appears to have diverged through a rare colonisation event, maintained through long-term isolation, and matches expectations of the core-periphery hypothesis. The process of active peripheral speciation may be a common force in the Indo-Pacific that helps drive some of the regionsí recognized biogeographic boundaries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Indo-West pacific, larval dispersal, marine biogeography, mtDNA, microsatellites, Panulirus, peripheral speciation, phylogeography, West Indian Ocean
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Smith, G (Professor Gregory Smith)
ID Code:121571
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (IH120100032)
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2017-10-03
Last Modified:2018-03-22
Downloads:85 View Download Statistics

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