Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

An Easy Phylogenetically Informative Method to Trace the Globally Invasive Potamopyrgus Mud Snail from River’s eDNA

  • Clusa L,
  • Ardura A,
  • Gower FJ,
  • Miralles L,
  • Tsartsianidou V,
  • Zaiko A,
  • and Garcia-Vazquez E
5 October, 2016

Clusa L, Ardura A, Gower F, Miralles L, Tsartsianidou V, Zaiko A and Garcia-Vazquez E 2016. An Easy Phylogenetically Informative Method to Trace the Globally Invasive Potamopyrgus Mud Snail from River’s Edna. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0162899.

DOI link here


Potamopyrgus antipodarum (New Zealand mud snail) is a prosobranch mollusk native to New Zealand with a wide invasive distribution range. Its non-indigenous populations are reported from Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. Being an extremely tolerant species, Potamopyrgus is capable to survive in a great range of salinity and temperature conditions, which explains its high invasiveness and successful spread outside the native range. Here we report the first finding of Potamopyrgus antipodarum in a basin of the Cantabrian corridor in North Iberia (Bay of Biscay, Spain). Two haplotypes already described in Europe were found in different sectors of River Nora (Nalon basin), suggesting the secondary introductions from earlier established invasive populations. To enhance the surveillance of the species and tracking its further spread in the region, we developed a specific set of primers for the genus Potamopyrgus that amplify a fragment of 16S rDNA. The sequences obtained from PCR on DNA extracted from tissue and water samples (environmental DNA, eDNA) were identical in each location, suggesting clonal reproduction of the introduced individuals. Multiple introduction events from different source populations were inferred from our sequence data. The eDNA tool developed here can serve for tracing New Zealand mud snail populations outside its native range, and for inventorying mud snail population assemblages in the native settings if high throughput sequencing methodologies are employed.