PCR-based detection of mtDNA haplotypes of native and invading mussels on the northeastern Pacific coast: latitudinal pattern of invasion
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Frequencies of mitochondrial haplotypes characteristic of native Mytilus trossulus and introduced M. galloprovincialis were determined in populations along the west coast of North America from San Diego, California, to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. We also identified the haplotypes of mussels cultured from larvae arriving in Coos Bay, Oregon, during 1988–1990 from sites in Japan in the seawater ballast of ocean-going ships. All mussels from ballast-water samples were M. galloprovincialis. We found that sampled populations north of San Francisco Bay, including Coos Bay, were entirely composed of mussels with the M. trossulus haplotype, while haplotypes of both species were present in all sites in and south of San Francisco Bay. The presence of M. trossulus in southern sites is contrary to evidence from allozyme studies, and we suggest that mtDNA introgression from M. trossulus to M. galloprovincialis may explain this discordance. This study demonstrates that, despite continued transport and release, M. galloprovincialis has not become established in northern sites. Failure to invade the north coast of North America may reflect environmental unsuitability for M. galloprovincialis. However, invasion success may be probabilistic, and the continuing release of M. galloprovincialis larvae may foreshadow a future successful invasion.
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