Gender-associated diverse mitochondrial DNA molecules of the mussel Mytilus californianus

Curr Genet. 1997 Apr;31(4):318-24. doi: 10.1007/s002940050211.


The Pacific-rim, dioecious bivalve Mytilus californianus contains two distinct sequence types of mitochondrial (mt) DNA that are gender-limited in their occurrence. One type (F) is found in both females and males, but the second type (M) is strictly limited to males. Although F- and M-type mtDNAs occur in approximately equal proportion in testes, there is a preponderance of M-type in sperm. Segments of the COI and ND5 genes of F-type and M-type mtDNAs differ in nucleotide sequence by 21.1% and 31.6%, and in predicted amino-acid sequence by 7.9% and 27.1%, respectively. These latter observations raise hitherto unconsidered questions regarding the number of different variants of cytochrome c oxidase and NADH dehydrogenase that may occur in Mytilus non-gametic male cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Base Sequence
  • Bivalvia / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific / genetics
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific / metabolism
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Female
  • In Situ Hybridization / methods
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Ovary / physiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Testis / physiology


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • CTCGAG-specific type II deoxyribonucleases
  • CTGCAG-specific type II deoxyribonucleases
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U73811
  • GENBANK/U73812
  • GENBANK/U73814
  • GENBANK/U78313