Genotyping hybrid watermilfoil
If you manage or live on a lake with hybrid watermilfoil, genetic testing of the local population can help inform treatments and contribute to MAISRC research into this high-impact species. A hybrid of Eurasian watermilfoil and native, northern watermilfoil, hybrid watermilfoil is more invasive that Eurasian watermilfoil and can be more difficult to treat. It has been found in 27 Minnesota lakes so far and recent genetics research into these populations have found 66 unique hybrid genotypes, a high degree of genetic variability.
Knowing the genetic make-up of an infestation can provide useful insights into the distribution of a species, its relationships to other populations in an area, and can help researchers track differences in impacts or response to management by different genotypes. In lab studies and in actual management scenarios, the response to herbicides commonly used to treat invasive milfoil varies by hybrid genotype. If you are planning a treatment of known or suspected hybrid milfoil, genotyping samples from the infestation will help inform your management and support on-going research.
MAISRC is supporting information-sharing across stakeholder groups engaged in hybrid milfoil management and can provide technical support in sampling methods and low-cost genotyping. For more information check out our factsheet on hybrid milfoil genotyping.