Comparison of gamete compatibility between two blue mussel species in sympatry and in allopatry

Christin Slaughter, Michael A. McCartney, Philip O. Yund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent demonstrations of positive selection on genes controlling gamete compatibility have resulted in a proliferation of hypotheses concerning the sources of selection. We tested a prediction of one prominent hypothesis, selection to avoid hybridization (i.e., reinforcement), by comparing heterospecific gamete compatibility in two Mytilus edulis populations: one population in Cobscook Bay, Maine, in which the close congener, M. trossulus, is abundant (a region of sympatry), and one population in Kittery, Maine, in which M. trossulus is absent (a region of allopatry). Three diagnostic nuclear DNA markers were used to identify mussels to species and to estimate the frequency of both species and their hybrids in the two populations. Controlled crosses were then conducted by combining eggs of M. edulis females with a range of M. edulis and M. trossulus sperm concentrations. Results were not consistent with the reinforcement hypothesis. M. edulis females collected from the region of sympatry were no more incompatible with M. trossulus males than were M. edulis females collected from the region of allopatry. A trend in the opposite direction, toward greater compatibility in sympatry, suggests that introgression of M. trossulus genes that control egg compatibility, such as those encoding receptors for sperm, may influence evolution of gametic isolation in hybridizing populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Bulletin
Volume214
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

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