Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Invasive success of the mosquitofish is due to its genetic variability

Date: July 12, 2016
Source: Plataforma SINC

The Eastern gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki), also known as the mosquitofish, is one of the world's 100 most invasive species. To understand its expansion across Europe from Spain -where it was introduced in the 1920s- a group of Spanish researchers has analysed, for the first time, the evolutionary changes of this animal through its genes. According to the study, genetic variability has allowed this fish to adapt and spread throughout its new environment.

Havoc can be wreaked on native ecosystems when a species that is introduced into a habitat different from its own is able to become acclimated and expand. Biological invasions are one of the main global threats to biodiversity and, for that reason, the subject of careful study.

The Eastern gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki), also known as the mosquitofish, was taken from the United States to Spain in the 1920s as a way to naturally control disease-carrying mosquitoes, such as the ones carrying malaria.

This animal, however, has had an enormous environmental impact on local fauna, thus becoming one of the world's 100 most harmful invasive exotic species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

To understand the evolutionary changes this species has undergone while adapting to European waters, a group of Spanish researchers, led by Manel Vera and José Luis García-Martín from the University of Girona, has compared the genomes of the fish in both ecosystems.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails