A history of invasion: COI phylogeny of Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum in Europe

The Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum – synonym Venerupis philippinarum (Adams and Reeve, 1850) is now one of the top 5 most commercially valuable bivalve species worldwide. Originally from the Indo-Pacific region, it has been introduced in many countries for fisheries and aquaculture, including estuarine environments along Atlantic and Mediterranean European coasts. Yet despite its commercial value and widespread distribution, the precise origins of stocks remain speculative and the genetic diversity of introduced populations is poorly known. Thus, the aim of this work was to collect mtDNA COI (Cytochrome oxidase I) gene sequences from 5 European countries with Manila clam stocks and compare them with native Asian populations to evaluate their genetic diversity and identify possible routes of invasion. The COI gene sequencing supported a strong founder effect in the European populations with 3 main haplotypes occurring at high frequencies, derived from Japan. However, high haplotype diversity was also observed due to the occurrence of 10 rare haplotypes. This supports hypotheses (i) there have been additional, previous unrecorded, introductions as previously hypothesized by analysis of 16S rDNA, and (ii) there has been a limited loss of genetic diversity in introduced populations, as previously suggested by microsatellite data. This is the first genetic comparison of Manila clam populations introduced in to Europe with native clams. Genetic data herein presented are fundamentally important for the traceability of clam products and stock management programmes and will also inform discussion on the potential resilience of exploited Manila clam populations.


Manila clam, COI, Genetic diversity, Europe, Non-indigenous species

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Chiesa Stefania, Lucentini Livia, Freitas Rosa, Marzano Francesco Nonnis, Breda Silvia, Figueira Etelvina, Caill-Milly Nathalie, Herbert Roger J. H., Soares Amadeu M. V. M., Argese Emanuele (2017). A history of invasion: COI phylogeny of Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum in Europe. Fisheries Research. 186. 25-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.07.024, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00347/45842/

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