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Genetic factors affecting establishment during invasions : the introduction of the topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) and the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Europe

Simon, Andrea


Andrea Simon


Bernd Ha¨nfling

Cock Van Oosterhout


The study of biological invasions is a major research topic, both because of the ecological and economical damage caused by invasive species and also as a great natural experiment to study evolutionary responses of non-native populations to their new environment, and the factors influencing invasions.

Introduced species often evolve rapidly, despite the assumed loss of genetic variation associated with bottlenecks during the invasion process. In order examine the processes and mechanisms affecting the outcome invasions I studied two non-native fish species, the topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) is an Asian cyprinid that is found in most European countries as a result of accidental introductions. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) has been introduced from the United States for aquaculture and angling, however, despite numerous introductions, it has only been able to establish in few European waters.

I used mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite markers to understand the invasion history of these species and the factors that influence their establishment success/failure.

Part of the cytochrome b gene was analysed in European and native Asian P. parva populations and microsatellite markers were used to investigate the source populations of the species. The analyses elucidated the colonisation pattern of P. parva in Europe and supported the hypothesis that the species spread through long-distance and stepping-stone methods and originate from admixed source populations.

In O. mykiss, part of the d-loop region of the mitochondrial genome was analysed to compare the phylogeographic structure of native US and introduced European populations to examine the spread of the species outside its native range, as well as to find out whether the resistant Hofer strain is the source population of the European rainbow trout populations. I found that European populations are likely to originate from various sources, mainly from California. The Hofer strain is likely to have contributed to some of the wild European populations.

Assessing the role of these processes is fundamental in understanding invasive species and finding suitable management practices to control them. From an evolutionary point of view, I was able to detect some of the processes that are important during invasions, in these studies particularly the role of multiple introductions and introduction from genetically admixed source populations.


Simon, A. (2012). Genetic factors affecting establishment during invasions : the introduction of the topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) and the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Europe. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Biological sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date Jul 1, 2012


Thesis (5.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 Simon, Andrea. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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