Genetic variation fuels selective change in natural and captive populations. In establishing a broodstock for selective improvement, the level of genetic diversity is an important consideration because it provides an indication of the scope for selective progress. Three domesticated strains of rainbow trout. Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). were examined at nine polymorphic microsatellite loci to assess detectable levels of allelic diversity and heterozygosity within and differentiation among the strains. A total of 126 alleles were observed to segregate into unique multilocus genotypes for each of the 152 individuals assayed. There was an average heterozygosity of 71.5% at these nine loci, and an average of 14 alleles at a locus. Each locus was represented by alleles unique to at least two of the three strains. Deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations of genotype frequencies were detected in each strain. Subsequent analysis indicated sub-structuring within strains leading to Wahlund effects that caused these deviations. Significant differences in genotype frequencies and pairwise FST values demonstrated that all strains were unique. The overall FST of 0.089 provides additional evidence of unique genetic diversity present in each strain, and agrees well with the degree of genetic variation found in rainbow trout across broad geographical ranges. The genetic diversity contributed by each population suggests that there is greater scope for selective improvement of numerous traits within a synthetic strain combining these three strains than within any individual strain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science