Origin and genetic diversity of mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) introduced to Europe

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We provide mitochondrial sequence variation of the invasive fish Gambusiaholbrooki from 24 European populations, from Portugal to Greece. Phylogeographic structure in Europe was compared with genetic data from native samples (USA) and historical records were reviewed to identify introduction routes. Overall, data agree with records of historical introductions and translocations, and indicate that the most abundant haplotype throughout Europe originated from North Carolina and corresponded to the first introduction in 1921 to Spain, being transferred to Italy in 1922 and to many countries afterwards. Our results also show that at least another independent introduction occurred first in France and subsequently from France to Greece. Haplotypes of G. affinis were not detected in our European sampling effort but historical records and other data suggest that this species was introduced to Italy in 1927 and it might be present. At the continental scale, there is less diversity in Europe than in North America, in agreement with the low number of introduced fish. At the local scale, some European populations gained diversity from multiple introductions and from "de novo" mutations ​
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