Phylogeography of Indo-Pacific reef fishes: sister wrassesCoris gaimardandC. cuvieriin the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean

Pauliina A. Ahti, Richard R. Coleman, Joseph DiBattista, Michael L. Berumen, Luiz A. Rocha, Brian W. Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Aim: The aim of this study was to resolve the evolutionary history, biogeographical barriers and population histories for sister species of wrasses, the African Coris (Coris cuvieri) in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, and the Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard) in the Pacific Ocean. Glacial sea level fluctuations during the Pleistocene have shaped the evolutionary trajectories of Indo-Pacific marine fauna, primarily by creating barriers between the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Here, we evaluate the influence of these episodic glacial barriers on sister species C. cuvieri and C. gaimard. Location: Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean. Methods: Sequences from mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI), and nuclear introns gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and ribosomal S7 protein were analysed in 426 individuals from across the range of both species. Median-joining networks, analysis of molecular variance and Bayesian estimates of the time since most recent common ancestor were used to resolve recent population history and connectivity. Results: Cytochrome oxidase c subunit I haplotypes showed a divergence of 0.97% between species, and nuclear alleles were shared between species. No population structure was detected between the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. The strongest signal of population structure was in C. gaimard between the Hawaiian biogeographical province and other Pacific locations (COI ϕ(symbol)ST = 0.040-0.173, P < 0.006; S7 ϕ(symbol)ST = 0.046, P < 0.001; GnRH ϕ(symbol)ST = 0.022, P < 0.005). Time to most recent common ancestor is c. 2.12 Ma for C. cuvieri and 1.76 Ma for C. gaimard. Main conclusions: We demonstrate an Indian-Pacific divergence of c. 2 Myr and high contemporary gene flow between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, mediated in part by the long pelagic larval stage. The discovery of hybrids at Christmas Island indicates that Indian and Pacific lineages have come into secondary contact after allopatric isolation. Subspecies status may be appropriate for these two wrasses. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1115
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG-1-2012-BER-002
Acknowledgements: For sample collections and logistic support, we thank Howard Choat, Pat Collins, Laurie Collins, Matthew Craig, Toby Daly-Engel, Matt Dunlap, Jeff Eble, Iria Fernandez-Silva, Michelle Gaither, Brian Greene, Jean-Paul Hobbs, Matt Iacchei, Stephen Karl, Randall Kosaki, Jo-Ann Leong, Eric Mason at Dream Divers, Carl Meyer, Gerrit Nanninga, Yannis Papastamatiou, David Pence, Daniel Polhemus, Nicolas Prevot at Dolphin Divers and the crew of the M/V Deli, Zeng Xiaoqi from the Ocean University of China College of Fisheries and Song He, Mark Priest, Joshua Reece, Matt Ross, Jennifer Schultz, Tane Sinclair-Taylor, Zoltan Szabo, Robert Toonen, Jacquelyn Troller, Jill Zamzow, the KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab and Amr Gusti, the crew of the R/V Thuwal at KAUST, the crew of the R/V Hi'ialakai, Coral Reef Research Foundation, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, the University of Milano-Bicocca Marine Research and High Education Centre in Magoodhoo, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Republic of Maldives, and the community of Maghoodhoo, Faafu Atoll, Western Australia Department of Fisheries, Parks Australia, and everybody involved in the logistics of the expeditions. This work was supported by U.S. National Science Foundation grants OCE09-29031 to B.W.B., and OCE12-60169 to R.J. Toonen, the Seaver Institute (B.W.B.), NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Program MOA 2005 - 008/6682 (R.J. Toonen), the KAUST Office of Competitive Research Funds (OCRF) under Award No. CRG-1-2012-BER-002 and baseline research funds to M.L.B., a National Geographic Society Grant 9024-11 to J.D.D., NSF grant DGE-1329626 to R.R.C. and Dr Nancy Foster Scholarship program under Award no. NA15NOS4290067 (R.R.C.). Thanks to associate editor Michelle Gaither and two anonymous referees who improved the manuscript.


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