Skip to main content Accessibility help

Periostracal Adventitious Hairs on Spat of the Mussel Mytilus Edulis

  • D.R. Dixon (a1), A.M. Cava-Sole (a2), P.L. Pascoe (a1) and P.W.H. Holland (a3)


Morphological and genetic evidence is presented which supports the existence of periostracal adventitious hairs on spat of the mussel Mytilus edulis. This character appears not to have been reported previously for Mytilus, and was thought to be restricted to a closely-related genus, Modiolus. The species identity of hairy mussel spat was confirmed by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification of a diagnostic portion of the nuclear ribosomal DNA repeat unit (i.e. the ITS-2 region). Size-frequency analysis of spat, sampled in mid-September 1993, from rock pools and from the byssus of a nearby adult mussel bed, showed that hairy spat (mean shell length 1.87 mm, SE 0.17) were significantly (t=7.74; P<0·001) smaller than smooth-shelled spat (mean shell length 2.77 mm, SE 0.28), although not all small-sized individuals displayed this character. These findings suggest that there is a gradual loss of hairs (through abrasion or by ‘programmed’ loss) as the animal grows. We suggest that this character has some adaptive significance since it probably reduces predation by boring gastropods (e.g. juvenile Nucella lapillus) and may inhibit fouling, particularly by conspecifics, during the primary settlement phase.



Hide All
Anderson, T.J. & Adlard, R.D., 1994. Nucleotide sequence of a rDNA internal transcribed spacer supports synonymy of Saccostrea commercialis and S. glomemta. journal ofMolluscan Studies, 60, 196197.
Bayne, B.L., 1964. Primary and secondary settlement in Mytilus edulis L. (Mollusca). Journal of Animal Ecology, 33, 513523.
Beaumont, A.R., 1991. Genetic studies of laboratory reared mussels, Mytilus edulis: heterozygote deficiencies, heterozygosity and growth. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society of London, 44, 273285.
Beaumont, A.R., Seed, R. & Garcia-Martinez, P., 1989. Electrophoretic and morphometric criteria for the identification of the mussels Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis. In Reproduction, genetics and distributions of marine organisms (ed. J.S., Ryland and P.A., Tyler), pp. 251258. Denmark: Olsen & Olsen. [Proceedings of the 23rd European Marine Biology Symposium, University of Wales, Swansea.]
Bottjer, D.J. & Carter, J.G., 1980. Functional and phylogenetic significance of projecting periostracal structures in the Bivalvia (Mollusca). Journal of Palaeontology, 54, 200216.
Carter, J.G. & Aller, R.C., 1975. Calcification in the bivalve periostracum. Lethaia, 8, 315320.
Clark, G.R., 1976. Shell growth in the marine environment: approaches to the problems of marginal calcification. American Zoologist, 16, 617626.
Côrte-Real, H.B.S.M., Dixon, D.R. & Holland, P.W.H., 1994 a. Intron-targeted PCR: a new approach to survey neutral DNA polymorphism in bivalve populations. Marine Biology, 120, 407413.
Côrte-Real, H.B.S.M., Holland, P.W.H. & Dixon, D.R., 1994 b. Inheritance of a nuclear DNA polymorphism assayed in single bivalve larvae. Marine Biology, 120, 415420.
Dixon, D.R., 1980. The energetics of tube production by Mercierella enigmatica (Polychaeta: Serpulidae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 60, 655659.
Dixon, D.R., Jollivet, D.A.S.B., Dixon, L.R.J., Nott, J.A. & Holland, P.W.H., 1995. The molecular identification of early life-history stages of hydrothermal vent organisms. In Hydrothermal vents and processes. Proceeding of a BRIDGE symposium, April 1994. (ed. L.M., Parson et al), pp. 343350. London: Geological Society. [Special Publication no. 87.]
Gosling, E., ed., 1992. The mussel Mytilus:ecology, physiology, genetics and culture. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Harper, E.M & Skelton, P.W., 1993. A defensive value of the thickened periostracum in the Mytiloidea. Veliger, 36, 3642.
Higuchi, R., 1989. Simple and rapid preparation of samples for PCR. In PCR Technology, (ed. Erlich, H. A.), pp. 3138. New York: Stockton Press.
Holland, P.W.H., 1993. Cloning genes using the polymerase chain reaction. In Essential develop-mental biology: a practical approach (ed. Cd., Stern and Holland, P.W.H.), pp. 243255. IRL Press at Oxford University Press.
Hughes, R.N., 1970. An energy budget for a tidal-flat population of the bivalve Scrobicularia plana (Da Costa). Journal of Animal Ecology, 39, 357381.
King, P.A., McGrath, D. & Gosling, E.M., 1989. Reproduction and settlement of Mytilus edulis on an exposed rocky shore in Galway Bay, west coast of Ireland. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 69, 355365.
Lewis, J.R., 1964. The ecology of rocky shores. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Olson, R.R., Runstadler, J.A. & Kocher, T.D., 1991. Whose larvae? Nature, London, 351, 357358.
Saiki, R.K., Gelfand, D.H., Stoffel, S., Scharf, S.J., Higuchi, R., Horn, G.T., Mullis, K.B. & Erlich, H.A., 1988. Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase. Science, New York, 239, 487491.
Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E.F. & Maniatis, T., 1989. Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, vol. 1, 2nd ed.Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press.
Seed, R., 1976. Ecology. In Marine mussels: their ecology and physiology (ed. Bayne, B.L.), pp. 1365. Cambridge University Press.
Seed, R., 1990. Taxonomic and evolutionary relationships within the genus Mytilus. In The Bivalvia - Proceedings of a Memorial Symposium in honour of Sir Charles Maurice Yonge 1986 (ed. Morton, B.), pp. 97110. Hong Kong University Press.
Seed, R. & Brown, R. A., 1975. Growth as a strategy for survival in two marine bivalves, Cerastodenna edule and Modiolus modiolus. Journal of Animal Ecology, 47, 283292.
Seed, R. & Suchanek, T.H., 1992. Population and community ecology of Mytilus. In The mussel Mytilus: ecology, physiology, genetics and culture (ed. Gosling, E.), pp. 87169. London: Elsevier.
Skibinski, D.O.F., Ahmad, M. & Beardmore, J.A., 1978. Genetic evidence for naturally occurring hybrids between Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis. Evolution, 32, 354364.
Soot-Ryen, T., 1955. A report on the family Mytilidae (Pelecypoda). Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions, 20, 1174.
Soot-Ryen, T., 1969. Treatise on invertebrate palaeontology. Part N. Mollusca, 6.
Stanley, S.M., 1972. Functional morphology and evolution of bysally attached bivalve mollusks. Journal of Palaeontology, 46, 165212.
Stanley, S.M., 1988. Adaptive morphology of the shell in bivalves and gastropods. In The Mollusca. Vol. 11. Form and function (ed. Trueman, E.R. and Clarke, M.R.), pp. 105141. London: Academic Press.
Tebble, N., 1966. British bivalve seashells: a handbook for identification. London: The British Museum (Natural History).
Watabe, N., 1988. Shell structure. In The Mollusca. Vol. 11. Form and function (ed. Trueman, E.R. and Clarke, M.R.), pp. 69104. London: Academic Press.
Wright, M.M. & Francis, L., 1984. Predator deterrence by flexible shell extensions of the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus. Veliger, 27, 140142.
Yonge, Cm., 1976. The ‘mussel’ form and habit. In Marine mussels: their ecology and physiology (ed. Bayne, B.L.), pp. 112. Cambridge University Press.

Periostracal Adventitious Hairs on Spat of the Mussel Mytilus Edulis

  • D.R. Dixon (a1), A.M. Cava-Sole (a2), P.L. Pascoe (a1) and P.W.H. Holland (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed