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Biol Bull. 1999 Jun;196(3):265-72.

Genetic and morphometric characterization of mussels (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from mid-atlantic hydrothermal vents.

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Center for Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA.


Mussels were collected from deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Specimens from the Snake Pit site were previously identified genetically and anatomically as Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis, but the relationships of mussels from other sites (Logatchev and Lucky Strike) were unclear. Molecular genetic and morphological techniques were used to assess differences among these mussel populations. The results indicate that the range for B. puteoserpentis extends from Snake Pit to Logatchev, and that an unnamed second species, B. n. sp., occurs at Lucky Strike. Analysis of mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) revealed 13% sequence divergence between the two species. Nei's genetic distance (D) based on 14 allozyme loci was 0.112. A multivariate morphometric analysis yielded a canonical discriminant function that correctly identified individuals from these sites to species 95% of the time.

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