Biological Invasions

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 341–348

High haplotype variability in established Asian populations of the invasive Caribbean bivalve Mytilopsis sallei (Dreissenidae)

Original Paper


Mytilopsis sallei is one of a small number of tropical estuarine organisms known to have successfully invaded habitats outside their native range in the Caribbean. This bivalve now occurs in several major ports in East Asia, which suggests the transport of larvae and/or adults by vessels. However, little work has been done to determine transfer pathways because direct evidence is difficult to obtain. Here we test whether there is sufficient genetic variability in a mitochondrial marker of established Asian populations of M. sallei to allow for future reconstruction of invasion history. We sampled a 376-base-pair fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) of M. sallei for 254 individuals representing 11 populations from Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan. We found high variability with 24 positions distinguishing 15 haplotypes. Haplotype diversity ranged between 0.6 and 0.8 in eight Singapore populations, and an analysis of molecular variance showed that there was no significant genetic segregation in these populations. Observed haplotype diversity was also high in a population from Visakhapatnam, India, but was slightly lower in samples from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Preliminary data also indicate that Singapore, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan populations may have different dominant haplotypes. These results suggest that there is sufficient genetic variability to use mitochondrial markers for reconstructing the invasion history of Mytilopsis sallei, when larger sample sizes become available.


Dreissenidae Mytilopsis Alien invasive species COI gene Southeast Asia 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.WaterHubSingaporeSingapore

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