Gender-associated mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy in the venerid clam Tapes philippinarum (Mollusca Bivalvia)

Curr Genet. 2001 Apr;39(2):117-24. doi: 10.1007/s002940100188.


This paper provides evidence of a gender-associated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) heteroplasmy in the clam Tapes philippinarum. The pattern of tissue distribution of the two observed mtDNA types (referred to as M and F) parallels that of the doubly uniparental inheritance system of Mytilus. The mitochondrial genetic features of the clam are related to a different rate of evolution of the M- and F-type mtDNAs. Since clams are known to be phylogenetically very distant from mussels, the present findings support the hypothesis that the mechanism producing gender-associated heteroplasmy should be considered an ancestral character in the Bivalvia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bivalvia / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / analysis
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Gonads / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sex
  • Tissue Distribution / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Ribosomal