Molecular confirmation of hybridization between Dascyllus reticulatus × Dascyllus aruanus from the Great Barrier Reef

Song He, Jacob L. Johansen, Andrew S. Hoey, Melissa Pappas, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

To date, more than 81 species of tropical coral reef fish have been reported to hybridize in nature, spanning multiple families, including the Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae, and Labridae. Hybridization, however, is seemingly rare among benthic nesting species that engage in pair spawning, such as the Pomacentridae. Here, we present evidence for the first molecularly confirmed record of hybridization within the genus Dascyllus; D. aruanus and D. reticulatus. Interestingly, although many hybridization events are attributed to peripheral range effects or areas of limited overlap among otherwise allopatric species, this hybrid individual was collected from the northern Great Barrier Reef, centrally located within the distribution ranges of both species. The hybrid exhibited coloration and meristic counts intermediate between D. aruanus and D. reticulatus. Diagnostic genetic markers and subsequent microsatellites analysis confirmed that this individual was a hybrid offspring of D. aruanus and D. reticulatus, with the latter providing the maternal contribution. The occurrence of the D. aruanus × D. reticulatus hybrid on the Great Barrier Reef represents an exception to the otherwise species-specific haplotypes. The nuclear diagnostic marker which was identified during this study could serve as a hybrid indicator and benefit future hybrid investigations for hybridization between these two species.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Biodiversity
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 17 2017

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