Broad-scale population genetics can reveal population structure across an organism’s range, which can enable us to determine levels of movement and connectivity. Genetic variation and differences in genetic diversity on small-scales have been reported in sea anemones, but nothing is known about their broad-scale population structure, including those that host anemonefishes, which are increasingly being targeted in the aquarium trade. In this study, microsatellite markers were used to determine the population structure of the host anemone, Heteractis magnifica, across nine regions in the Indo-Pacific, ranging from the Red Sea to French Polynesia. More than 280 samples were collected. In addition, two rDNA markers were used to identify Symbiodinium types in the samples, and phylogenetic analyses were used to measure their diversity and geographic distribution. Significant population structure was identified in H. magnifica, with at least three distinct genetic breaks possibly as a result of factors such as geographic distance, geographic isolation and environmental variation. Symbiodinium types were also affected by environmental variation and mostly reflected patterns of regional isolation seen in the host. These results suggest that management of H. magnifica must be implemented on a local scale due to the lack of connectivity between clusters. This study also provides further evidence for the combined effects of geographic distance and environmental distance in explaining genetic variance, even in a single biogeographic region.


Emms, M. A., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, madeleine.emms@kaust.edu.sa

Saenz-Agudelo, P., Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile, pablo.saenzagudelo@gmail.com

Gatins, R. A., University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, remy.gatins@kaust.edu.sa

Mills, S., Universite de Perpignan, France, suzanne.mills@univ-perp.fr

Beldade, R., Universite de Perpignan, France, rbeldade@gmail.com

Nanninga, G., Universite de Perpignan, France, gerrit.nanninga@kaust.edu.sa

Scott, A., Southern Cross University, Australia, anna.scott@scu.edu.au

Hobbs, J. P., Curtin University, Australia, jp.hobbs@curtin.edu.au

Frisch, A., James Cook University, Australia, ashley.frisch@jcu.edu.au

Berumen, M., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, michael.berumen@kaust.edu.sa


Oral presentation

Session #:47
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 15:15
Location: 308 A/B

Presentation is given by student: Yes