We investigated the relationship between physiological properties, swimming performance, shell fluctuating asymmetry, and heterozygosity at allozyme loci in the Iceland scallop, Chlamys islandica, in an attempt to describe potential physiological mechanisms for the negative relationship between shell fluctuating asymmetry and survival of this species in pearl nets (Fréchette & Daigle 2002). No clear relationship was observed between shell fluctuating asymmetry and the different physiological and genetic parameters, although the maximum number of contractions in a series during escape tests and the specific activity of arginine kinase in the adductor muscle were linked with shell asymmetry before the application of corrections for multiple comparisons. Pyruvate kinase activity in soft tissues was higher in animals that were heterozygous at 2 loci compared with those that were heterozygous at 4 loci. Although our exploratory study suggests that shell asymmetry may reflect bioenergetic difficulties, further study is required to confirm such links.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1