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Copper-induced differential mortality in the mussel Mytilus edulis


Copper toxicity experiments were performed with 3 000 mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) from a population that is a mixture of individuals originating in the Kattegat and in the Baltic. Subsequently, the electrophoretic patterns of the enzymes phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) and phosphogluco mutase (PGM) were analysed in the dead and surviving mussels in order to detect possible differential mortality. Significant differences in allele frequencies between dead and surviving mussels were found for PGI. The results are discussed in relation to genotypic differences in the PGI and in relation to the composite structure of the investigated population. It is concluded that the differential mortality is due to genotypic differences in the PGI locus and/or to different susceptibility to copper by mussels originating in the two geographic areas.

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Communicated by T. Fenchel, Aarhus

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Hvilsom, M.M. Copper-induced differential mortality in the mussel Mytilus edulis . Marine Biology 76, 291–295 (1983).

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  • Enzyme
  • Copper
  • Toxicity
  • Allele Frequency
  • Geographic Area