Worldwide genetic differentiation in the common fouling barnacle, Amphibalanus amphitrite

Hsi-Nien Chen, Ling Ming Tsang, Ving Ching Chong, Benny K.K. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Amphibalanus amphitrite is a common fouling barnacle distributed globally in tropical and subtropical waters. In the present study, the genetic (mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I) and morphological differentiation in A. amphitrite from 25 localities around the world were investigated. The results revealed three clades within A. amphitrite with a genetic divergence of ~ 4% among clades, whereas there were no diagnostic morphological differences among clades. Clade 1 is widely distributed in both temperate and tropical waters, whereas Clade 3 is currently restricted to the tropical region. The deep divergence among clades suggests historical isolation within A. amphitrite; thus, the present geographical overlaps are possibly a result of the combined effects of rising sea level and human-mediated dispersals. This study highlights the genetic differentiation that exists in a common, widely distributed fouling organism with great dispersal potential; future antifouling research should take into account the choice of lineages.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1078
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 24 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Prof. W.A. Newman (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) for his valuable assistance collecting A. amphitrite saltonensis from the Salton Sea, California. The authors also thank Prof. A.S. Clare (Newcastle University, UK) for kindly providing the specimen from North Carolina, USA; N. Yuvaraj for providing the specimen from Puducherry, India; Prof. Pei-Yuan Qian (HKUST) and Sarah Al-Aged for providing the specimen from Kaust, Saudi Arabia; and K.Y. Ma (CUHK) for providing the specimens from Townsville, Australia. The authors would also like to thank P.C. Tsai and W.P. Hsieh (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) for sample collection in Japan and Korea, and also for helping with laboratory tasks. The authors also thank Kingsley J.H. Wong for his assistance collecting the specimen from Hainan. H.-N. Chen was supported by a National Taiwan University postgraduate studentship. Thanks to Garcia Coralia (Wallace Editing, Taiwan) for editing the text of the present manuscript. Thanks to the two anonymous reviewers, and also Prof. James T. Carlton (Williams College) for giving constructive and valuable comments on this manuscript. Part of this study is supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (NSC-102-2621-B-001-002) to BKKC.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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