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Population differences in nerve resistance to paralytic shellfish toxins in softshell clam, Mya arenaria, associated with sodium channel mutations
Connell, L.B.; MacQuarrie, S.P.; Twarog, B.M.; Iszard, M.; Bricelj, V.M. (2007). Population differences in nerve resistance to paralytic shellfish toxins in softshell clam, Mya arenaria, associated with sodium channel mutations. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150(6): 1227-1236. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0432-z
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Connell, L.B.
  • MacQuarrie, S.P.
  • Twarog, B.M.
  • Iszard, M.
  • Bricelj, V.M.

Abstract
    The softshell clam, Mya arenaria, is a commercially important bivalve with wide latitudinal distribution in North America. Populations of clams with a history of repeated exposure to toxic Alexandrium spp. have developed a natural resistance to the paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) produced by these algae. An association between PST resistance in individual clams and a single mutation in the saxitoxin (STX) binding region of the a-subunit of the voltage-gated sodium (Na+) channel gene was previously identified. Here we establish that more than one mutation associated with nerve resistance to STX occurred at this locus. Both cDNA from mRNA and genomic DNA sequences from individual clams are identical demonstrating that both alleles are expressed simultaneously. In addition, one resistant allele per individual is sufficient to confer neural resistance to STX even though heterozygous individuals show an intermediate level of resistance to STX in in vitro nerve trunk assays.

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