Raising Zebra Mussels in the MAISRC Lab

Despite zebra mussels being wildly successful at reproducing and spreading in Minnesota lakes, they are incredibly difficult to maintain and propagate in a lab setting. This presents a challenge for researchers because many studies require multiple generations of zebra mussels to assess the long term impacts of control options, particularly genetic methods. In 2021, MAISRC began a pilot project with the Minnesota Zoo to attempt to rear zebra mussels in the MAISRC lab for the purposes of control research. The project, which is using tanks more commonly used in jellyfish rearing, has succeeded so far in keeping zebra mussels alive longer. Researchers are now making progress in development of a reliable method for rearing multiple generations of the invasive mussel in the lab. 

Project manager: Ben Minerich

Funded by: Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources

Project start date: Jan. 2021

Project end date: Dec. 2022