DNA barcoding revealed the presence of the invasive freshwater mussel Sinanodonta aff. woodiana (Lea, 1834) in Afghanistan


en Zoosystema 46 (6) - Pages 133-147

Published on 12 March 2024

Chinese pond mussels are known as a successful invasive species, spreading rapidly almost around the world. Here, we report the first record of Sinanodonta aff. woodiana (Lea, 1834) in Afghanistan. The species was observed in the Amu Darya River in Qala-I-Zal, Kunduz Province. DNA barcoding revealed that the Afghan population belongs to the temperate invasive lineage that is widespread in Europe. Consistent with our phylogenetic data, the haplotype network showed that the alien population in Afghanistan shared the same COI haplotype as non-indigenous populations from Kazakhstan, Siberia, European Russia, Myanmar and Europe, suggesting a common origin from a single source population in China. Sinanodonta aff. woodiana seems to have been introduced into Afghanistan via waterways from the Middle Asia and/or fish hosts. The presence of individuals between one to eight years old indicates that S. aff. woodiana can survive and breed in the environmental conditions of the Amu Darya River in Afghanistan. Further spread and colonisation of S. aff. woodiana in the Amu Darya is not unexpected due to of some human-mediated dispersal events and waterways in the region. Some identified invasive populations of Sinanodonta sp. based on the available databases are under discussion, as there are at least eight lineages within Sinanodonta complex, each could indicate a separate cryptic species. Further work should be addressed to evaluate the taxonomy of this morphologically variable group.


Sinanodonta aff. woodiana, Afghanistan, Amu Darya, COI haplotype, invasive species, new record

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