Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 841–851 | Cite as

Evolution of habitat use by deep-sea mussels

  • W.J. JonesEmail author
  • Y-J. Won
  • P.A.Y. Maas
  • P.J. Smith
  • R.A. Lutz
  • R.C. Vrijenhoek
Research Article


Previous phylogenetic studies proposed that symbiont-bearing mussels of the subfamily Bathymodiolinae (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) invaded progressively deeper marine environments and evolved from lineages that decomposed wood and bone to specialized lineages that invaded cold-water hydrocarbon seeps and finally deep-sea hydrothermal vents. To assess the validity of the hypotheses, we examined two nuclear (18S and 28S rRNA) and two mitochondrial genes (COI and ND4) from a broad array of bathymodiolin species that included several recently discovered species from shallow hydrothermal seamounts. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis and maximum-likelihood estimates of ancestral character states revealed that vent species evolved multiple times, and that reversals in vent and seep habitat use occurred within the sampled taxa. Previous hypotheses regarding evolution from wood/bone-to-seeps/vents are supported in that mid-ocean hydrothermal vent species may represent a monophyletic group with one noticeable reversal. Earlier hypotheses about progressive evolution from shallow-to-deep habitats appear to hold with a few instances of habitat reversals.


Cold Seep Mussel Species Doubly Uniparental Inheritance Ancestral Character State Deep Marine Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully appreciate the efforts of the pilots of the deep-sea submersibles Alvin, Johnson Sea Link, Shinkai 6500 and Tiburon during our oceanographic expeditions over the past 15 years. We thank J. Childress, C. Fisher, I. MacDonald for providing mussel specimens from the Gulf of Mexico, and C.R. Young for help with the Bayesian analysis. We also thank P. Braccio for help using XGrid and parallel versions of MrBayes. C.L. Van Dover provided comments on data interpretation. P.J.S. was supported by the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology (contract # COIX0028). This study was funded by the US National Science Foundation (OCE8917311, OCE9212771, OCE9302205, OCE9529819, OCE9633131, OCE9910799, ESI0087679, OCE0327353 and OCE0241613) and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation via the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • W.J. Jones
    • 1
    Email author
  • Y-J. Won
    • 1
    • 4
  • P.A.Y. Maas
    • 2
    • 5
  • P.J. Smith
    • 3
  • R.A. Lutz
    • 2
  • R.C. Vrijenhoek
    • 1
  1. 1.Monterey Bay Aquarium Research InstituteMoss LandingUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Marine and Coastal SciencesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  3. 3.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LtdWellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of Life SciencesEwha Womans UniversitySeoulKorea
  5. 5.School of Science The College of New JerseyEwingUSA

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