Using genomics and morphometrics to monitor data-poor and commercially exploited octopod populations

Hua, Qiaz Q.H., Thomson, Vicki A., Strugnell, Jan M., Martino, Jasmin C., Gillanders, Bronwyn M., and Doubleday, Zoe A. (2023) Using genomics and morphometrics to monitor data-poor and commercially exploited octopod populations. Marine Biology, 170 (10). 119.

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Over 150 species of benthic octopods have been described within the ‘catch-all’ Octopus genus (Family: Octopodidae) and yet, many Octopus species harvested by fisheries remain unidentified to species-level due to a lack of distinguishing traits. Within species, there is also limited information on how populations differ genetically and the level of connectivity between populations. Therefore, we sampled octopods from commercial fisheries in southeast Australia, in order to identify the species, examine the phylogeographic relationships among species and the level of population genetic structuring within species, as well as to look for any adaptive genetic variation. The mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase subunit III (COIII), was sequenced in 346 octopods along with single nucleotide polymorphisms using double digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq). Morphometric traits were also measured in mature specimens. The southern keeled octopus (‘Octopus’ berrima) and pale octopus (‘Octopus’ pallidus) were identified using COIII data. For ‘Octopus’ berrima, we found that some populations whilst being morphologically similar were genetically distinct. In contrast, ‘Octopus’ pallidus populations were both morphologically and genetically distinct across the studied regions. Our results provide key information to better inform conservation and management decisions for developing octopod fisheries in southeast Australia and highlight the importance of genomics tools in the conservation management of commercially and recreationally important species.

Item ID: 80308
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Keywords: Cephalopod, Genetic variation, Holobenthic octopus, Morphological comparison, Population genetic structure, RADseq
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2024 22:40
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310509 Genomics @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 70%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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