The population genetic structure of small yellow croaker Larimichthys polyactis in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea was analyzed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). A total of 304 loci were detected by four primer combinations among 53 individuals collected from four locations representing three stocks of small yellow croaker, 231 of which were polymorphic (75.99%). The proportion of polymorphic loci and Nei’s genetic distances for four populations ranged from 58.11% to 69.43% and from 0.1076 to 0.1331. AMOVA analysis and pairwise FST revealed significant genetic differentiation among four samples, supporting separate stocks in this species and endemic branch tribes in South Yellow Sea stock. The UPGMA tree also revealed the significant geographic structure in this species. Pattern of isolation by distance was observed in this species, indicating that significant genetic differentiation among localities of small yellow croaker was mainly due to the geographic distance. Besides geographic distance, the migratory behavior might be another factor, which influences the genetic structure of this species.
Key words: Larimichthys polyactis, small yellow croaker, genetic structure, AFLP.
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