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Allozyme genetics of Mytilus edulis subjected to copper and nutritive stress

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2009

Andy R. Beaumont
School of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Menai Bridge, Gwynedd, LL59 5EY
Jorge E. Toro
School of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Menai Bridge, Gwynedd, LL59 5EY


Mytilus edulis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) collected as spat from the wild in 1990 and held in the laboratory for 18 months were divided into four groups: fed (control); starved; fed with 100 ppb added copper; and starved with 100 ppb added copper. Following >60% mortalities in the starved and copper stressed groups (but negligible mortalities in the control) surviving mussels from all four groups were genotyped at seven allozyme loci (Gpi, Lap, Pgtn, Idh, Odh, Gsr and Est). Allele frequencies did not vary significantly between any of the four groups at any loci, except Gsr where fed and starved groups differed. Mortalities were not genotype dependent at the Pgm locus but, in contrast, genotype frequencies at most other loci varied significantly between groups. At the Gpi, Lap, Gsr and Odh loci there were significant changes in proportions of heterozygotes following copper induced mortalities such that, in general, heterozygotes survived longer and homozygotes succumbed sooner. No similar pattern was evident in relation to mortalities caused by starvation; at only one locus (Idh) was there evidence of a significant effect but this was not apparently independent of the effect of copper.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1996

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