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Reassessing the origins of the invasive mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in southern Africa.
Retracing the origins of invasive species is a first critical step to identifying potential mechanisms of introduction, implementation of management strategies and forecasting the spread of the invader. Mytilus galloprovincialis is an intertidal mussel widely distributed in many temperate and subtropical regions. It is invasive worldwide and the most successful invasive marine species in southern Africa. Previous studies have examined genetic relationships between a few South African populations from the southwest coast and other worldwide populations, presenting evidence of a northeastern Atlantic origin of the invasion. Here, a combination of nuclear (Me15/16 PCR-based) and mitochondrial (16S restriction fragment length polymorphism; 16S RFLP) DNA assays was applied to infer the origin of this strong invader across its entire southern African distribution (South Africa and Namibia). 16S RFLP confirmed the Northern Hemisphere as likely the sole source of invasion. Additionally, the frequencies of haplotypes at the 16S marker and alleles at the Me15/16 locus point to northeastern Atlantic shores as the most likely origin throughout the Namibian and South African distribution of the species.
MF17132 Accepted 16 October 2017
© CSIRO 2017