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DNA tests of UK waters could help catch invasive species early

Source: southampton.ac.uk

A team of scientists from the University of Southampton, Bangor University and the National Oceanography Centre have discovered several artificially introduced species in the coastal waters of southern England, using a technique that could help the early detection of non-native species if adopted more widely.

Among the species identified during the study was Cephalothrix simula, a worm, originating from the North West Pacific Ocean, which contains neurotoxins that are potentially fatal if they enter the human body.

The researchers, led by Luke Holman, a PhD student at the University of Southampton, collected water and sediment from four marinas around the UK and analysed the DNA of each sample to determine which species had been present in the ecosystems. MORE

Header image: The Asian Date Mussel was one of the invasive species detected in Southampton Waters. Credit: University of Southampton.

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