Blue mussels transmissible cancers

Transmissible cancers are present in the Mytilus species complex.

Starting with a paper published during my PhD (Riquet, Simon, and Bierne 2017), we have been interested in mutliple lineages of transmissible cancers present in Mytilus species.

A transmissible cancer is a cancer that can be transmited from one individual to another. The cancer can have originated from the same species (like in Tasmanian devils, DFTD, and dogs, CTVT), but also in another species as happened in different groups of bivalves.


  • Riquet, Simon, and Bierne (2017)
  • Yonemitsu et al. (2019)
  • Burioli et al. (2019)
  • Hammel et al. (2022)


Burioli, E. A. V., S. Trancart, A. Simon, I. Bernard, M. Charles, E. Oden, N. Bierne, and M. Houssin. 2019. “Implementation of Various Approaches to Study the Prevalence, Incidence and Progression of Disseminated Neoplasia in Mussel Stocks.” Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 168 (November): 107271.
Hammel, Maurine, Alexis Simon, Christine Arbiol, Antonio Villalba, Erika A. V. Burioli, Jean-François Pépin, Jean-Baptiste Lamy, et al. 2022. “Prevalence and Polymorphism of a Mussel Transmissible Cancer in Europe.” Molecular Ecology 31 (3): 736–51.
Riquet, Florentine, Alexis Simon, and Nicolas Bierne. 2017. “Weird Genotypes? Don’t Discard Them, Transmissible Cancer Could Be an Explanation.” Evolutionary Applications 10 (October): 140–45.
Yonemitsu, Marisa A., Rachael M. Giersch, Maria Polo-Prieto, Maurine Hammel, Alexis Simon, Florencia Cremonte, Fernando T. Avilés, et al. 2019. “A Single Clonal Lineage of Transmissible Cancer Identified in Two Marine Mussel Species in South America and Europe.” eLife 8 (November): e47788.