Phylogeography of the freshwater mussel species Lasmigona costata: testing post-glacial colonization hypotheses

Trevor L. Hewitt, Jennifer L. Bergner, Daelyn A. Woolnough, David T. Zanatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Understanding genetic diversity across large spatial scales helps to reveal patterns of population structure. Mitochondrial DNA sequences and microsatellite loci were used to analyze the phylogeography of a common unionid species (Lasmigona costata) from the Laurentian Great Lakes and historically connected river drainages. Phylogeographic patterns were assessed to determine colonization routes into the Great Lakes following glacial recession. A suite of seven microsatellite loci were genotyped and a fragment of the mitochondrial gene COI was sequenced. Multiple analyses using microsatellite allele frequencies suggest at least two distinct genetic populations for L. costata. A total of seven hypothesized post-glacial dispersal scenarios were compared using isolation by distance to test the various dispersal models. Evidence was strongest for two post-glacial dispersal routes into the Great Lakes: one utilizing a connection between the Wabash and Maumee River watersheds, and one utilizing a connection between the Wisconsin River and Green Bay watersheds. A highly differentiated and monophyletic population of L. costata was identified in the Ozark Highlands, which may constitute a unique taxonomic entity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Freshwater mussels
  • Glacial refugia
  • Microsatellites
  • Population genetics
  • mtDNA


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