Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-dnltx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-19T05:05:25.930Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Periostracal Adventitious Hairs on Spat of the Mussel Mytilus Edulis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2009

D.R. Dixon
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, PL12PB.
A.M. Cava-Sole
Departmento de Genetica, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Bloco A - CCS - Ilha do Fundao, 21941 Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil.
P.L. Pascoe
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, PL12PB.
P.W.H. Holland
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS.


Morphological and genetic evidence is presented which supports the existence of periostracal adventitious hairs on spat of the mussel Mytilus edulis. This character appears not to have been reported previously for Mytilus, and was thought to be restricted to a closely-related genus, Modiolus. The species identity of hairy mussel spat was confirmed by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification of a diagnostic portion of the nuclear ribosomal DNA repeat unit (i.e. the ITS-2 region). Size-frequency analysis of spat, sampled in mid-September 1993, from rock pools and from the byssus of a nearby adult mussel bed, showed that hairy spat (mean shell length 1.87 mm, SE 0.17) were significantly (t=7.74; P<0·001) smaller than smooth-shelled spat (mean shell length 2.77 mm, SE 0.28), although not all small-sized individuals displayed this character. These findings suggest that there is a gradual loss of hairs (through abrasion or by ‘programmed’ loss) as the animal grows. We suggest that this character has some adaptive significance since it probably reduces predation by boring gastropods (e.g. juvenile Nucella lapillus) and may inhibit fouling, particularly by conspecifics, during the primary settlement phase.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1995

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Anderson, T.J. & Adlard, R.D., 1994. Nucleotide sequence of a rDNA internal transcribed spacer supports synonymy of Saccostrea commercialis and S. glomemta. journal ofMolluscan Studies, 60, 196197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bayne, B.L., 1964. Primary and secondary settlement in Mytilus edulis L. (Mollusca). Journal of Animal Ecology, 33, 513523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beaumont, A.R., 1991. Genetic studies of laboratory reared mussels, Mytilus edulis: heterozygote deficiencies, heterozygosity and growth. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society of London, 44, 273285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beaumont, A.R., Seed, R. & Garcia-Martinez, P., 1989. Electrophoretic and morphometric criteria for the identification of the mussels Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis. In Reproduction, genetics and distributions of marine organisms (ed. J.S., Ryland and P.A., Tyler), pp. 251258. Denmark: Olsen & Olsen. [Proceedings of the 23rd European Marine Biology Symposium, University of Wales, Swansea.]Google Scholar
Bottjer, D.J. & Carter, J.G., 1980. Functional and phylogenetic significance of projecting periostracal structures in the Bivalvia (Mollusca). Journal of Palaeontology, 54, 200216.Google Scholar
Carter, J.G. & Aller, R.C., 1975. Calcification in the bivalve periostracum. Lethaia, 8, 315320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, G.R., 1976. Shell growth in the marine environment: approaches to the problems of marginal calcification. American Zoologist, 16, 617626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Côrte-Real, H.B.S.M., Dixon, D.R. & Holland, P.W.H., 1994 a. Intron-targeted PCR: a new approach to survey neutral DNA polymorphism in bivalve populations. Marine Biology, 120, 407413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Côrte-Real, H.B.S.M., Holland, P.W.H. & Dixon, D.R., 1994 b. Inheritance of a nuclear DNA polymorphism assayed in single bivalve larvae. Marine Biology, 120, 415420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dixon, D.R., 1980. The energetics of tube production by Mercierella enigmatica (Polychaeta: Serpulidae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 60, 655659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dixon, D.R., Jollivet, D.A.S.B., Dixon, L.R.J., Nott, J.A. & Holland, P.W.H., 1995. The molecular identification of early life-history stages of hydrothermal vent organisms. In Hydrothermal vents and processes. Proceeding of a BRIDGE symposium, April 1994. (ed. L.M., Parson et al), pp. 343350. London: Geological Society. [Special Publication no. 87.]Google Scholar
Gosling, E., ed., 1992. The mussel Mytilus:ecology, physiology, genetics and culture. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
Harper, E.M & Skelton, P.W., 1993. A defensive value of the thickened periostracum in the Mytiloidea. Veliger, 36, 3642.Google Scholar
Higuchi, R., 1989. Simple and rapid preparation of samples for PCR. In PCR Technology, (ed. Erlich, H. A.), pp. 3138. New York: Stockton Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holland, P.W.H., 1993. Cloning genes using the polymerase chain reaction. In Essential develop-mental biology: a practical approach (ed. Cd., Stern and Holland, P.W.H.), pp. 243255. IRL Press at Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hughes, R.N., 1970. An energy budget for a tidal-flat population of the bivalve Scrobicularia plana (Da Costa). Journal of Animal Ecology, 39, 357381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
King, P.A., McGrath, D. & Gosling, E.M., 1989. Reproduction and settlement of Mytilus edulis on an exposed rocky shore in Galway Bay, west coast of Ireland. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 69, 355365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis, J.R., 1964. The ecology of rocky shores. London: Hodder & Stoughton.Google Scholar
Olson, R.R., Runstadler, J.A. & Kocher, T.D., 1991. Whose larvae? Nature, London, 351, 357358.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saiki, R.K., Gelfand, D.H., Stoffel, S., Scharf, S.J., Higuchi, R., Horn, G.T., Mullis, K.B. & Erlich, H.A., 1988. Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase. Science, New York, 239, 487491.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E.F. & Maniatis, T., 1989. Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, vol. 1, 2nd ed.Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press.Google Scholar
Seed, R., 1976. Ecology. In Marine mussels: their ecology and physiology (ed. Bayne, B.L.), pp. 1365. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Seed, R., 1990. Taxonomic and evolutionary relationships within the genus Mytilus. In The Bivalvia - Proceedings of a Memorial Symposium in honour of Sir Charles Maurice Yonge 1986 (ed. Morton, B.), pp. 97110. Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
Seed, R. & Brown, R. A., 1975. Growth as a strategy for survival in two marine bivalves, Cerastodenna edule and Modiolus modiolus. Journal of Animal Ecology, 47, 283292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seed, R. & Suchanek, T.H., 1992. Population and community ecology of Mytilus. In The mussel Mytilus: ecology, physiology, genetics and culture (ed. Gosling, E.), pp. 87169. London: Elsevier.Google Scholar
Skibinski, D.O.F., Ahmad, M. & Beardmore, J.A., 1978. Genetic evidence for naturally occurring hybrids between Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis. Evolution, 32, 354364.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Soot-Ryen, T., 1955. A report on the family Mytilidae (Pelecypoda). Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions, 20, 1174.Google Scholar
Soot-Ryen, T., 1969. Treatise on invertebrate palaeontology. Part N. Mollusca, 6.Google Scholar
Stanley, S.M., 1972. Functional morphology and evolution of bysally attached bivalve mollusks. Journal of Palaeontology, 46, 165212.Google Scholar
Stanley, S.M., 1988. Adaptive morphology of the shell in bivalves and gastropods. In The Mollusca. Vol. 11. Form and function (ed. Trueman, E.R. and Clarke, M.R.), pp. 105141. London: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tebble, N., 1966. British bivalve seashells: a handbook for identification. London: The British Museum (Natural History).Google Scholar
Watabe, N., 1988. Shell structure. In The Mollusca. Vol. 11. Form and function (ed. Trueman, E.R. and Clarke, M.R.), pp. 69104. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Wright, M.M. & Francis, L., 1984. Predator deterrence by flexible shell extensions of the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus. Veliger, 27, 140142.Google Scholar
Yonge, Cm., 1976. The ‘mussel’ form and habit. In Marine mussels: their ecology and physiology (ed. Bayne, B.L.), pp. 112. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar