Gardner, J.P.A.; Thompson, R.J. (2009). Influence of genotype and geography on shell shape and morphometric trait variation among North Atlantic blue mussel (Mytilus spp.) populations. Biological Journal Of The Linnean Society. 96 (4) 875-897.
The influence of geography and genotype on shell shape (outline) and trait (morphometric) variation among North Atlantic blue mussels and their hybrids has been examined. Shape differences among reference taxa (Mytilus trossulus, Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis) were consistent with an association between taxon-specific genes and shape genes. Newfoundland M. edulis x M. trossulus populations and northern Quebec M. trossulus populations exhibited an uncoupling of taxon-specific genes from shape genes, whereas Nova Scotia M. trossulus populations and SW England M. edulis x M. galloprovincialis populations exhibited an association between taxon-specific genes and shape genes. We found no evidence of a geographic effect (NE versus NW Atlantic) for shape variation, indicating that the genotype effect is stronger than any geographic effect at macrogeographic scales. Pronounced differences were observed in trait variability consistent with an association between taxon-specific genes and trait genes in European populations, and trait divergence of New York M. edulis from all European mussels. Trait variability in mussels from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and northern Quebec indicated an uncoupling of taxon genes from trait genes, whereas trait variability in SW England M. edulis x M. galloprovincialis populations was consistent with background genotype, indicating a strong association between taxon genes and trait genes. A pronounced macrogeographic split (NE versus NW Atlantic) regardless of taxonomy was observed, indicating that geography exerts a greater influence than genotype on trait variation at the macrogeographic scale. This is consistent with pronounced within-taxon genetic divergence, indicative of different selection regimes or more likely of different evolutionary histories of mussels on either side of the North Atlantic. (C) 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 96, 875-897.