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Paternally Derived Mitochondrial DNA In Freshwater Mussels: A Hypervariable Resource For Population Analysis

0002305<br/>Krebs<br/><br/>In mussels, mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) exhibits an unusual form of inheritance. While in most species, mitochondria are inherited strictly through the female gamete, this cell organelle may also be inherited through the male gamete in mussels. Male-inherited mitochondria are passed in sperm and develop only in the production of the male gonal and sperm. The presence of tow mDNA forms allows for the possible use of both maternal and paternal forms concurrently to assess population genetic structure. This study will develop techniques to routinely extract paternal mDNA and determine its usefulness for population studies. This study will focus on three species in the Cuyahoga River watershed, the giant floater (Pyganodon grandis), the fluted shell mussel (Lasmigona costata), and the wabash pigtoe (Fusconaia flava). This work has important implcations both for studies of mussels in general, and for the species in this river system which are threatened because of recent high levels of pollution and the invasion of the zebra mussel into the Great Lakes.

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