Uniform Variation in Genetic-Traits of a Marine Bivalve Related to Starvation, Pollution and Geographic Clines

H. Hummel, R.H. Bogaards, C. Amiard-Triquet, G. Bachelet, M. Desprez, J. Marchand, H. Rybarczyk, B. Sylvand, Y. De Wit, L. De Wolf

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    Abstract

    Consistent patterns of genetic variation in the marine bivalve Macoma balthica (L.) were found after exposure to low levels of copper, starvation, and along geographic dines. The geographic dines were related to temperature and salinity. Genetic differences were primarily found in the LAP (Leucine aminopeptidase) locus; under stress the frequency of one specific allele, and thereby the heterozygosity, decreased strongly. The degree of changes depended on age and condition of the animals; adult animals showing stronger changes than juveniles. Law concentrations of copper yielded stronger genetic changes than high concentrations. It is concluded that genetic diversity and stress-sensitivity of species change predictably along a gradient in response to environmental harshness. Animals near the southern limit of their range were more sensitive to additional stress. [KEYWORDS: Age; bivalve; condition; genetics; geographic cline; macoma balthica; metal; pollution; salinity; species distribution; stress-sensitivity; temperature Mussel mytilus-edulis; allele frequency cline; population-genetics; macoma-balthica; crassostrea-virginica; allozyme variation; selection; differentiation; oyster; polymorphisms]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)133-150
    JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
    Volume191
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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