Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Genetic Characterization of the Invasive Quagga Mussel (Dresseina bugensis) in Southwestern US Lakes

January 2010 - December 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.

Goal: To genetically distinguish the population of quagga mussels at each of 4 Southwest lakes so that future invasions can be traced back to their source. This study seeks to use genetic markers to examine historical lineages for the population of quagga mussels (Dresseina bugensis) in Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Pleasant in Arizona, and Lake Otai in California. Specifically, analyses of the genetic variability within the population and relatedness between individuals could resolve whether they originate from a single, or multiple, contamination / invasion event. The preliminary analysis was performed using the mitochondrial DNA COI region, with primers developed for use in mussels by Folmer et al. (1994). Subsequent analyses were performed using the six published microsatellite markers available for Dreissena bugensis (Wilson, et al, 1999).