Genome-wide SNP analyses reveal population structure of Portunus pelagicus along Vietnam coastline

The blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the commercially exploited crab fishery resources in Vietnam. This is the first study to provide a broad survey of genetic diversity, population structure and migration patterns of P. pelagicus along the Vietnamese coastline. The crab samples were collected from northern, central and southern Vietnam. Here, we used a panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated from restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq). After removing 32 outlier loci, 306 putatively neutral SNPs from 96 individuals were used to assess fine-scale population structure of blue swimming crab. The mean observed heterozygosity (Ho) and expected heterozygosity (He) per locus was 0.196 and 0.223, respectively. Pairwise Fst and hierarchical AMOVA supported significant differentiation of central and northern from southern populations (P<0.01). Population structure analyses revealed that P. pelagicus in the south is a separate fisheries unit from the north and center. Contemporary migration patterns supported high migration between northern and central populations and restricted genetic exchange within the southern population. In contrast, historic gene flow provides strong evidence for single panmictic population. The results are useful for understanding current status of P. pelagicus in the wild under an environment changing due to natural and anthropogenic stresses, with implications for fisheries management.