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Spatio-temporal patterns in the genetic structure of recently settled blue mussels (Mytilus spp.) across a hybrid zone
Gilg, M.R.; Hilbish, T.J. (2003). Spatio-temporal patterns in the genetic structure of recently settled blue mussels (Mytilus spp.) across a hybrid zone. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 143(4): 679-690.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Gilg, M.R.
  • Hilbish, T.J.

    Previous studies of a hybrid zone between the mussels Mytilus edulis Linnaeus and M. galloprovincialis Lamarck have not resolved the relative importance of the genetic composition of settling larval cohorts versus post-settlement selection in determining the distribution of the parental species and their hybrids. In the present study, recently settled mussels (spat) were collected from 20 sites in southwest England throughout the summer and fall (May–October) in 1998 and 1999. This study investigated the spatio-temporal patterns of settlement and genetics of mussel spat by genetically identifying M. edulis, M. galloprovincialis and their hybrids using the diagnostic PCR marker Glu-5'. Settlement was observed earlier in populations of M. edulis than in populations of M. galloprovincialis. Settlement occurred in hybrid populations at times intermediate to and overlapping with both of the parental populations. Temporal genetic variation within years was rare at most sites, while there was some variation between the two years. Spatial genetic variation, however, was common among spat settling within the hybrid populations and matched that observed in small, sub-adults at the same sites. No consistent directional changes in allele frequency were observed over the course of several weeks after settlement. These data suggest that the observed spatial variation in the adult populations is the result of spatial variation in settling larval cohorts and not of either temporal genetic variation or of selection soon after settlement.

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