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MIT/WHOI Joint Program Student Diane Poehls Adams is breeding mussels in her lab.

Mussel Building

In a WHOI biology lab, graduate student Diane Poehls Adams is breeding blue mussels, Mytilus edulis,from larvae to mature adults. These mussels experience differentgenetic selection pressures—leading them to express different genes andtraits—depending on whether they are in the ocean or anestuary. This selection could serve to reduce gene flow between the twohabitat types and reduce the population size.Poehls Adams isculturing mussels in the lab, studying their genetic makeup, andtransferring them into the ocean to see which are more successful indifferent marine environments. Understanding the connectivity betweenbottom-dwelling (or "benthic") marine populations isnecessary to properly manage our marine resources. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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