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ALGAE > Volume 30(2); 2015 > Article
ALGAE 2015;30(2): 89-101. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2015.30.2.89
Morphological and genetic variability among Ecklonia cava (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) populations in Korea
Dong Mun Choi1,2, Young Wook Ko1, Rae-Seon Kang1, Jeong Ha Kim2

1Biological Oceanography and Marine Biology Division, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, Ansan 426-744, Korea
2Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea
*Corresponding Author  Jeong Ha Kim, Tel: +82-31-290-7009, Fax: +82-31-290-5919, 
Email: jhkbio@skku.edu
Ecklonia cava Kjellman is a common kelp found in shallow subtidal in warm-temperate waters in the northwest Pacific Ocean. This species has shown substantial morphological variation along with subsistence in different locations and local environments. We quantified the magnitude of morphological variation of E. cava from six populations along ~700 km of coastline from Jeju Island to Dokdo in Korea. In addition, we examined genetic distance among the populations using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. Most morphological characteristics investigated were significantly different among locations. Multivariate analyses indicated two phenetically distinct groups (nearshore, sheltered vs. offshore, exposed), indicating wave exposure with turbidity are presumably major factors for the separation. With RAPD data, results of Nei’s diversity (H) and AMOVA showed considerable variations in within- and between-populations. Pairwise ΦST and Nm values indicated moderate gene flow between the six locations. Results of Nei’s analysis revealed three genetically distinct groups, not consistent with the morphological groupings, indicating that a time gap may exist between morphological and genetic variations. This study also suggests dispersal distance of this kelp may be longer than what is commonly thought and genetic similarity in the populations was largely reflected by the direction of ocean current rather than just geographical distance.
Key words: Ecklonia cava; genetic variation; kelp; morphology; phenotype; RAPD

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