Sperm polymorphism and genetic divergence in the mussel Perumytilus purpuratus

Carolina Briones, Ricardo Guiñez, Orlando Garrido, Pablo A. Oyarzún, Jorge E. Toro, Montse Pérez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


For the first time in a marine bivalve species, geographic intraspecific variation in sperm morphology in the Chilean mussel, Perumytilus purpuratus, is reported. Samples were obtained in December 2010 from the rocky intertidal at three locations: Antofagasta (23°44′01.08″S, 70°26′26.11″W), Valparaíso (32°57′23.07″S, 71°33′01.86″W), and Valdivia (39°50′44.26″S, 73°25′51.99″W). Scanning electron microscopy was used to describe sperm traits, and genetic data were obtained by sequencing a 16S mtDNA 427-bp fragment. The results showed geographic intraspecific variation with two statistically significant patterns of genetically differentiated sperm morphologies. One genetic clade was found for Antofagasta and Valparaíso, displaying a unique sperm morphotype with a short acrosome accounting for 26 % of the head length, and the other from Valdivia, with a larger acrosome occupying 47 % of the head length. These results will lead to new research to distinguish among alternative hypotheses: the presence of cryptic species, incipient speciation, or a polymorphism in sperm traits of P. purpuratus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1865-1870
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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