AB 3:79-87 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00060

Juvenile and adult scale worms Branchipolynoe seepensis in Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent mussels are genetically unrelated

Sophie Plouviez1,2, Claire Daguin-Thiébaut1,2, Stéphane Hourdez1,2, Didier Jollivet1,2,*

1Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Laboratoire Adaptation et Diversité en Milieu Marin, Roscoff cedex, France
2CNRS, UMR7144 Station Biologique de Roscoff, BP 74, Place Georges Teissier, 29682, Roscoff cedex, France
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The deep-sea Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus harbors the polynoid polychaete Branchipolynoe seepensis in its palleal cavity. The latter species possesses large, yolky oocytes (~400 µm) and has been hypothesized to brood its developing embryos. The present study used 6 microsatellite markers to assess kinship among adult and juvenile worms from the same host, among worms from mussels collected within a 1 m2 quadrat, and among samples taken on 2 dates (July 1998 and July 2001) at 2 sites (Tour Eiffel, TE, and Bairro Alto, BA) separated by 900 m at Lucky Strike hydrothermal vents on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (37°16’ to 19’N, 32°15’ to 18’W). The hypothesis of genetic relatedness between females and juveniles within a single mussel, or among worms from the same quadrat was rejected. Conversely, great heterozygote deficiencies have been detected at nearly all loci, suggesting possible local inbreeding. There was no apparent genetic differentiation among worms from the 2 spatially separated quadrats collected at the TE and BA sites in 2001. These results suggest that embryonic or juvenile B. seepensis are released from their host mussel at a relatively early stage of development. They may settle close to the point of release or be dispersed to nearby sites or beyond.


KEY WORDS: Adult/offspring kinship · Microsatellite · Dispersal · Polychaete · Mid-Atlantic Ridge


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Cite this article as: Plouviez S, Daguin Thiébaut C, Hourdez S, Jollivet D (2008) Juvenile and adult scale worms Branchipolynoe seepensis in Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent mussels are genetically unrelated. Aquat Biol 3:79-87. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00060

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