Use of a monoclonal antibody-based assay for the early detection of an invasive bivalve in plankton samples.
The invasive mussel Xenostrobus securis was recorded for the first time in the Galician Rias Baixas (NW Spain) in 2007, within an area characterized by intense commercial culture of Mytilus galloprovincialis. The main aims of this study were to evaluate whether an immunological assay can be used to detect larvae of this species in field samples of plankton and to determine whether the distribution of larvae matched that of adults. The ability of two monoclonal antibodies to recognize the bivalve was tested by immunofluorescence. Only the M22.8 antibody recognized X. securis larvae. The staining pattern distinguished X. securis from M. galloprovincialis larvae in both laboratory cultures and field samples of plankton. The distribution of larvae did not match that of adults. This tool may prove very useful for monitoring the presence of this invasive species in the plankton, allowing rapid and specific recognition.