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Does peripheral dislodgement contribute to heterozygote deficiencies in blue mussels?

Daniels, Eleanor Q., Litvaitis, Marian K.
Invertebrate biology 2017 v.136 no.3 pp. 301-308
Mytilus edulis, heterozygosity, microsatellite repeats, mussels, risk, New Hampshire
Differential loss of heterozygous individuals that move to the periphery of mussel aggregations, where they are at greater risk for dislodgement, has been proposed as an explanation for observed heterozygote deficiencies in blue mussels. To test the dislodgement hypothesis, correlations between heterozygosity and mussel motility, as well as characteristics of byssogenesis and byssal thread attachment strengths, were determined in a wild and a farmed population of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) from New Hampshire, USA. Although both populations exhibited a heterozygote deficit as measured by three microsatellite loci, no relationship was found between heterozygosity and increased motility in either population. Similarly, no relationship was found between heterozygosity and byssogenesis or attachment strength. Hence, differential dislodgement is highly unlikely as a possible contributor to the loss of heterozygous individuals.