The inference of historical demography of a species is helpful for understanding species' differentiation and its population dynamics. However, such inference has been previously difficult due to the lack of proper analytical methods and availability of genetic data. A recently developed method called Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent (PSMC) offers the capability for estimation of the trajectories of historical populations over considerable time periods using genomic sequences. In this study, we applied this approach to infer the historical demography of the common carp using samples collected from Europe, Asia and the Americas. Comparison between Asian and European common carp populations showed that the last glacial period starting 100 ka BP likely caused a significant decline in population size of the wild common carp in Europe, while it did not have much of an impact on its counterparts in Asia. This was probably caused by differences in glacial activities in East Asia and Europe, and suggesting a separation of the European and Asian clades before the last glacial maximum. The North American clade which is an invasive population shared a similar demographic history as those from Europe, consistent with the idea that the North American common carp probably had European ancestral origins. Our analysis represents the first reconstruction of the historical population demography of the common carp, which is important to elucidate the separation of European and Asian common carp clades during the Quaternary glaciation, as well as the dispersal of common carp across the world.
Keywords: America; Asia; Common carp; Dispersal; Europe; Glaciation.