By: News Director Larissa Donovan
MINNEAPOLIS– Scientists at the University of Minnesota have mapped the zebra mussel genome.
The Star Tribune reports that the meticulous research done by U of M scientists may be able to find the genes that allow the mussel to survive and flourish, and also the genes that could lead to the collapse of their population in Minnesota waters.
According to the article, zebra mussels traveled to the U.S. in the ballasts of ocean freighters from Europe, first taking hold in Lake Erie and spreading across the Midwest almost immediately.
Once established, zebra mussels kill or out-compete native mussels, and consume the nutrients in a lake by filtering water, affecting other organisms’ food sources.