, Volume 144, Issue 3, pp 537-545
Date: 12 Nov 2003

Genetic heterogeneity among New Zealand species of hydrothermal vent mussels (Mytilidae: Bathymodiolus)

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Molecular systematic studies provide evidence for three new species of Bathymodiolus-like hydrothermal vent mussels (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from relatively shallow waters (depth less than 750 m) associated with the Kermadec Arc off northern New Zealand. Mitochondrial COI sequences from the three putative new species differed substantially from those of other known bathymodiolin species from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Population genetic analysis of one of these species (Bathymodiolus new species NZ-1) revealed heterogeneity in allozyme gene frequencies between samples collected from two seamounts about 50 km apart. Factors that might contribute to genetic differentiation between neighbouring seamounts are discussed.

Communicated by M.S. Johnson, Crawley