Microsatellite genetic diversity and differentiation of native and introduced grass carp populations in three continents

Qin Chen, Chenghui Wang, Guoqing Lu, Jinliang Zhao, Duane C. Chapman, Jeney Zsigmond, Sifa Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), a freshwater species native to China, has been introduced to about 100 countries/regions and poses both biological and environmental challenges to the receiving ecosystems. In this study, we analyzed genetic variation in grass carp from three introduced river systems (Mississippi River Basin in US, Danube River in Hungary, and Tone River in Japan) as well as its native ranges (Yangtze, Pearl, and Amur Rivers) in China using 21 novel microsatellite loci. The allelic richness, observed heterozygosity, and within-population gene diversity were found to be lower in the introduced populations than in the native populations, presumably due to the small founder population size of the former. Significant genetic differentiation was found between all pairwise populations from different rivers. Both principal component analysis and Bayesian clustering analysis revealed obvious genetic distinction between the native and introduced populations. Interestingly, genetic bottlenecks were detected in the Hungarian and Japanese grass carp populations, but not in the North American population, suggesting that the Mississippi River Basin grass carp has experienced rapid population expansion with potential genetic diversification during the half-century since its introduction. Consequently, the combined forces of the founder effect, introduction history, and rapid population expansion help explaining the observed patterns of genetic diversity within and among both native and introduced populations of the grass carp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Bottleneck effect
  • Ctenopharyngodon idella
  • Genetic differentiation
  • Microsatellite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science


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