The Prevalence of the Species: Mytilus trossulus and M.edulis, M.galloprovincialis, and Their Hybrids Advertised as ‘Blue Mussels’ in the Kitsilano Area

  • Harpurn Brar
  • Hannah Foggin
  • Maria Klerck
  • Linkun Yao


The purpose of this study is to find the proportion of the three species of mussels, and their hybrids in a collection of thirty-two mussels from four stores around Kitsilano, British Columbia. The three species of mussels advertised as ‘Blue Mussels’ are: Mytilus trossulus, M.edulis and M.galloprovincialis. M.galloprovincialis is an invasive species that out-competes other mussels, potentially affecting British Columbia marine ecosystems. The three species of mussel are indistinguishable phenotypically; however, the species’ and their hybrids show distinct banding patterns when a gene for a foot protein is examined. We used the processes of DNA Isolation, PCR, and Gel Electrophoresis to distinguish the proportions of the three mussels. The results of our study were that the mussels labeled as “Salt Spring Island” consisted of 86% invasive M. galloprovincialis , while the “P.E.I” mussels consisted of 23% invasive M. galloprovincialis.