Molecular evidence for aquarium origin of green alga Caulerpa taxifolia introduced to the Mediterranean Sea

Here, we present the first molecular evidence that the tropical green alga Caulerpa taxifolia, which is quickly spreading in the Mediterranean and out-competing native species, escaped to the sea from a public or private aquarium. Our data show that this alga is genetically identical to the strain cultivated in western European aquaria since the early 1970s The facility with which this strain is obtained world-wide represents a potential danger of additional biological invasions.