Population Genetic Structure of Marine Leech, Pterobdella arugamensis in Indo-West Pacific Region

Syakirah Azmey, Hussein Taha, Gunanti Mahasri, Muhamad Amin, Ahasan Habib, Min Pau Tan, Takaomi Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Grouper aquaculture is rapidly expanding in both tropical and subtropical regions. The presence of marine leeches (Pterobdella arugamensis; previously named Zeylanicobdella arugamensis) infesting cultured groupers, however, can have a fatal effect on grouper aquaculture production and cause significant economic loss. Understanding the marine leech’s population structure is therefore important to determine its possible distributional origin and distributional mechanisms, which will help monitor and mitigate the infestation. In this study, a total of 84 marine leeches collected from cultured hybrid groupers Epinephelus spp. in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Indonesia were identified as P. arugamensis, based on morphological and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene sequence analyses. These leech samples, together with additional sequences from the GenBank database, were grouped into four genetically distinct haplogroups: (1) Asia Pacific, (2) Borneo, (3) Surabaya and (4) Iran. The four populations were found to be highly diverged from each other. The results also suggested that the samples from the Asia Pacific population could be dispersed and transported from Indonesia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number956
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Pterobdella arugamensis
  • aquaculture
  • haplotype network
  • hybrid groupers
  • mitochondrial COI
  • molecular phylogenetic


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