Local adaptation and species segregation in two mussel (Mytilus edulis x Mytilus trossulus) hybrid zones.
Few marine hybrid zones have been studied extensively, the major exception being the hybrid zone between the mussels Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis in southwestern Europe. Here, we focus on two less studied hybrid zones that also involve Mytilus spp.; Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus are sympatric and hybridize on both western and eastern coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. We review the dynamics of hybridization in these two hybrid zones and evaluate the role of local adaptation for maintaining species boundaries. In Scandinavia, hybridization and gene introgression is so extensive that no individuals with pure M. trossulus genotypes have been found. However, M. trossulus alleles are maintained at high frequencies in the extremely low salinity Baltic Sea for some allozyme genes. A synthesis of reciprocal transplantation experiments between different salinity regimes shows that unlinked Gpi and Pgm alleles change frequency following transplantation, such that post-transplantation allelic composition resembles native populations found in the same salinity. These experiments provide strong evidence for salinity adaptation at Gpi and Pgm (or genes linked to them). In the Canadian Maritimes, pure M. edulis and M. trossulus individuals are abundant, and limited data suggest that M. edulis predominates in low salinity and sheltered conditions, whereas M. trossulus are more abundant on the wave-exposed open coasts. We suggest that these conflicting patterns of species segregation are, in part, caused by local adaptation of Scandinavian M. trossulus to the extremely low salinity Baltic Sea environment.
Riginos, C; Cunningham, CW
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