Primers for amplifying the hypervariable, male-transmitted COII-COI junction region in amblemine freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoidea: Ambleminae)

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Freshwater bivalves in the superfamily Unionoidea possess distinct male (M)- and female (F)-transmitted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The former evolves independently of and at a significantly faster rate than the latter. Thus, population genetic and phylogenetic analyses of M sequences facilitate the generation of independent estimates of genetic variation and evolutionary relationships which are often more robust than those provided by analyses of F sequences alone. However, M mtDNA's rapid substitution rate often renders polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification difficult with ‘universal’ primers. Herein, we report on three pairs of PCR primers that consistently amplify the hypervariable M COII-COI gene junction region in 25 bivalve genera (Unionoidea: Ambleminae).