, Volume 159, Issue 6, pp 1347-1362
Date: 20 Mar 2012

Identification and validation of novel SNP markers in European populations of marine Mytilus mussels

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Mussels of the genus Mytilus are widespread in both northern and southern hemispheres. Mytilus taxa are very important components of marine coastal ecosystems, but are difficult to differentiate morphologically. Sequencing and Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX genotyping technology was used to identify and verify novel SNP markers in three European taxa of Mytilus: M. edulis, M. galloprovincialis, and M. trossulus. SNPs were localized in coding and non-coding sequences of some functionally important genes. Eight SNPs located in genes of the histone family, hsp70 and p53, were discovered and applied as novel markers for Mytilus taxa on a large European scale. Five of these differentiated the M. trossulus genome, two M. galloprovincialis, and one M. edulis. Other SNPs differentiated populations within taxa. The new SNPs will be a valuable tool for population studies of European Mytilus mussels. The percentage of polymorphic SNPs ranged from 19 to 100 % in 24 samples of mussels studied. Populations from Scotland, Mecklenburg Bight, and Norway had over 90 % polymorphic loci. Most loci were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in all samples except for the one from Scotland. The highest percentages of heterozygotes were observed in the Atlantic (Banyuls and Vigo) and North Sea (Tjarno and Westerschelde) populations. An excess of homozygotes was observed in samples from Scotland, Norway, and the Barents Sea. Correspondence and Structure analysis also demonstrated the great heterogeneity of these three samples.

Communicated by T. Reusch.