Faculty Advisor

Buckholt, Michael A.

Faculty Advisor

Mathews, Lauren M.


The genus Orconectes is native to the eastern parts of North America, however, Orconectes also includes a number of species that are invasive in parts of the United States. We investigated two invasive O. virilis populations in close geographic proximity using the 16S gene of mtDNA. Due to causes of low dispersal rates among populations, we predicted that the two populations are genetically differentiated. Also, that the invasive populations of O. visilis have been subject to the founder effect. Since O. limosus is the native population, and therefore not subject to the founder effect, we hypothesized that this species would be more genetically diverse than the invasive O. virilis population. Our results support both of our hypotheses, with high differentiation found between the two O. virilis populations. Also, native populations were considerably more genetically diverse than the invasive O. virilis populations found in the same area.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2006


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology