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Introgression and mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy in the Baltic populations of mussels Mytilus trossulus and M. edulis
Kijewski, T.K.; Zbawicka, M.; Vainola, R.; Wenne, R. (2006). Introgression and mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy in the Baltic populations of mussels Mytilus trossulus and M. edulis. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 149(6): 1371-1385.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Kijewski, T.K.
  • Zbawicka, M., more
  • Vainola, R.
  • Wenne, R.

    A strong clinal change in salinity occurs between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, in the Danish Straits, where hybridization zone between mussels Mytilus edulis and M. trossulus has been reported. Eleven samples of mussels were studied from the Danish Straits and the inner Baltic Sea. Extensive introgression of M. edulis alleles from the North Sea into populations throughout the Baltic was ascertained for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and two nuclear markers (ME15–16 and ITS). In the opposite direction, introgression of M. trossulus alleles into the M. edulis background was observed at the EFbis nuclear marker in populations from Kattegat (Danish Straits). While only M. edulis F (female) mtDNA was present in the Baltic, there were still strong differences in frequencies in the control region length variants between the Danish Straits and the inner Baltic samples, and weaker variation in coding region ND2–COIII haplotype frequencies. In the assays of the two mtDNA regions, various patterns of heteroplasmy were detected in 32% of all the studied individual mussels; this includes the presence of distinct, independently inherited M and F mitochondria in males, as well as the presence of two different distinguishable F genomes. The male-inherited M mtDNA genomes are quite common in the mussels from the Danish Straits, but very rare in males from the inner Baltic. Instead, a recombined control region variant (1r), which seems to have taken over the role of the M genome, was present in a number of specimens in the Baltic. Observations of heteroplasmy for two F genomes in some females and males confirm disruptions of the doubly uniparental inheritance mechanism in the hybrid Baltic Mytilus.

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