Development and Utilization of Genetic Probes for Studying Zebra Mussel Veligers

Thumbnail Image
Frischer, Marc E.
Wyllie, Jane A.
Hansen, Andrew S.
Nierzwicki-Bauer, Sandra A.
Associated Organizations
Supplementary to
A key issue in the management of zebra mussel populations is early, rapid, and accurate detection of the planktonic forms of the mussel veligers. In this study, an alternative technology to microscopic enumeration of zebra mussel veligers has been developed based on a species specific genetic probe targeting the 18S rRNA molecule. Probe specificity and sensitivity were determined empirically in the laboratory. The probe did not hybridize to any other bivalve representative tested, including a close relative of the zebra mussel, Mytilopsis leucophaeta. A single veliger could be detected by 18S rRNA targeted probes. The probe was tested in three different field settings including the Hudson River, NY, Lake Champlain, NY/VT, and Lake George, NY and compared to standard methods. Results were generally consistent with microscopy methods. A long term goal of this work is the application of genetic probe technology to the development of a field device for the routine detection and quantification of zebra mussel veligers.
Sponsored and Organized by: U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Rights Statement
Rights URI