Abstract: Invasive populations of macrophytes are widely distributed and have been successfully introduced and established in freshwater habitats. Hydrilla verticillata was first recorded in 2005 in the Upper Paraná River floodplain and in 2007 at the Itaipu Reservoir (Brazil-Paraguay border, ca. 300 km downstream from its first record). However, its genetic variability within different sites in South America is unknown. We used nucleotide sequences corresponding to the trnL-trnF fragment cpDNA to genetically characterize populations of H. verticillata in different ecosystems of the Upper Paraná River basin. The results indicated an absence of genetic differentiation within and between populations of the basin, and even individuals collected 600 km apart belonged to the same haplotype. Moreover, H. verticillata populations of the Upper Paraná River basin also matched the dioecious biotype haplotype of the Southern United States and Asia. The identification of this single haplotype suggests that one founder genotype was introduced and established successfully in the Upper Paraná River basin, then, as a consequence of vegetative reproduction and the dispersal of propagules, spread to different habitats. However, firm conclusions about this inference can only be obtained with markers of biparental inheritance.