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Campbell River, Canada

Shrimpton J.M.,University of Northern British Columbia | Heath J.W.,Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd. | Devlin R.H.,Center for Aquaculture and Environmental Research | Heath D.D.,University of Windsor
Aquaculture | Year: 2012

The use of triploid salmon for aquaculture is attractive as they do not mature sexually, limiting losses associated with poor flesh quality in mature fish and posing less genetic risk to wild stocks if they escape. Inconsistent survival and growth performance in triploid fish, however, has limited their implementation. In our study, ocean-type Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) were bred using replicated 3×3 factorial mating designs to create 18 families to test whether triploidization resulted in changes in growth and ionoregulation performance in freshwater and seawater. Eggs were pressure shocked after fertilization to create triploid offspring in a subset of each family. In spring, freshwater fish were sampled for size and gill Na +, K +-ATPase activity. Plasma chloride and cortisol were measured following a 24-h saltwater challenge. Growth performance was monitored for a further four months following transfer to sea water. We found significant effects of ploidy and sire (paternal effect) on smolt weight, as well as on gill Na +, K +-ATPase activity, although the latter did not correspond with performance in a 24-h saltwater challenge. Following four months of ocean growth, diploid animals were consistently larger, with greater circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 than triploid sibs, although specific growth rates did not differ. Conversely, gill Na +, K +-ATPase activity at that time was significantly higher in triploid than diploid fish. When the phenotypic variance for the various traits was partitioned, triploids exhibited significantly greater additive genetic variance and maternal effects across all traits relative to diploid fish - indicating that gene dosage effects were primarily additive. The strong family effect indicates that genotype has a substantial role in determining the effects of ploidy manipulation on ionoregulatory and growth performance in Chinook salmon. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Madison B.N.,University of Guelph | Heath J.W.,Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd. | Heath D.D.,University of Windsor | Bernier N.J.,University of Guelph
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2013

To assess whether parental mate choice and early rearing in a semi-natural spawning channel may benefit the culture of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, 90day growth trials were conducted using hatchery O. tshawytscha (hatchery), mate choice O. tshawytscha (i.e. the offspring of parents allowed to choose their own mate) that spent 6months in a spawning channel prior to hatchery rearing (channel) and mate choice O. tshawytscha transferred to the hatchery as fertilized eggs (transfer). During the growth trials, all O. tshawytscha stocks were reared separately or in either mixed channel and hatchery or transfer and hatchery groups for comparison of performance to traditional practices. After 60days in fresh water, all O. tshawytscha were transferred to seawater for an additional 30days. Reared separately, all stocks grew c. 4·5 fold over 90days but specific growth rate (G) and food conversion efficiency were higher in fresh water than after seawater transfer on day 60. In contrast, hatchery O. tshawytscha from mixed hatchery and channel and hatchery and transfer growth trials had a larger mass and length gain than their counterparts on day 60, but reduced G in seawater. In general, plasma levels of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor I and cortisol did not differ among any O. tshawytscha groups in either the separate or mixed growth trials. Despite some differences in gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity, all O. tshawytscha had a high degree of seawater tolerance and experienced virtually no perturbation in plasma chloride following seawater transfer. Overall, all O. tshawytscha exhibited similar growth and seawater performance under traditional hatchery conditions and any benefit derived from either parental mate choice or semi-natural early rearing environment was only observed in the presence of mutual competition with hatchery O. tshawytscha. © 2013 The Author. Journal of Fish Biology © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Lehnert S.J.,University of Windsor | Heath J.W.,Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd. | Heath D.D.,University of Windsor
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2013

Escapes from aquaculture sites may threaten wild populations through ecological risks such as reproductive interference and genetic risks through successful hybridization. Mating studies examining wild-farmed interactions should quantify fertilization and reproductive success separately through genotyping of eggs and fry, respectively, to estimate ecological and genetic risks. We examined fertilization and reproductive success (fry survival to 158 and 201 days) of farmed (XY and XX males) and wild Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) males in competitive seminatural spawning channels with farmed females. XY and XX farmed males did not differ in fertilization and reproductive success. Farmed and wild males exhibited no difference in fertilization success; however, farmed males experienced significantly lower reproductive success relative to wild owing to differences in egg-to-fry survival because of competition with wild-sired offspring. Therefore, farmed males pose ecological risk to wild populations by removing reproductive opportunities from wild males, potentially reducing wild salmon productivity. However, low survival of farm-sired offspring will reduce further opportunities for interbreeding between wild and farm-raised fish. Nevertheless, research is needed to further quantify these genetic impacts.


Shields J.L.,University of Windsor | Heath J.W.,Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd. | Heath D.D.,University of Windsor
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

Adult marine mussels are sessile, but their highly dispersive planktonic larval stage plays a critical role in shaping population structure. However, shoreline geography and oceanographic currents can modify the dispersal pattern of pelagic larvae. On Vancouver Island (VI), British Columbia, 3 species of blue mussels (native Mytilus trossulus and introduced M. galloprovincialis and M. edulis) form a localized hybrid zone. Here we genetically mapped the distribution of Mytilus species and populations along VI and the surrounding islands. Using diagnostic species markers and microsatellite loci, we estimated the extent of the Mytilus hybrid zone on VI and measured population differentiation among the observed sites in 2005 and 2006. We predicted that the distribution of non-native genotypes would be mirrored by the microsatellite allelic patterns, which correspond to oceanographic features that reflect barriers to gene flow in the Strait of Georgia. Generally, non-native genotypes were restricted to southern VI and strong microsatellite population structure was detected. The distribution of non-native genotypes reflected patterns of microsatellite allele frequency in the Strait of Georgia. Using a landscape genetics approach, we identified 2 genetic discontinuities, which correspond to oceanographic and hydrographic features of the Strait of Georgia. Thus, physical dispersal barriers likely limit the spread of the VI Mytilus hybrid zone; however, additional biological barriers to dispersal must also exist. The VI Mytilus hybrid zone provides an excellent example of complex dispersal patterns in a non-equilibrium system. © 2010 Inter-Research.


Aykanat T.,University of Windsor | Heath J.W.,Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd. | Dixon B.,University of Windsor | Dixon B.,University of Waterloo | Heath D.D.,University of Windsor
Immunogenetics | Year: 2012

Estimation of quantitative genetic parameters is important for improving salmonid broodstock management in commercial and government hatcheries. Using a replicated 2×2 factorial breeding design (48 families and 192 individuals), we partitioned early immune response transcription variation into additive genetic, non-additive genetic, and maternal components in juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Transcription of four cytokine genes (IL1, TNF-α, IL-8, IL8-R) and two control genes (IgM and RPS-11) was measured relative to an endogenous control (EF1a) before and 24 h after immune stimulation with Vibrio vaccine. Additive genetic variation was not significant for cytokine transcription and heritability ranged from 0.44 (in pre-challenge IL1) to 0.04 (in post-challenge TNF-α). Non-additive genetic variance was significant in postchallenge IL1 (18 %) and TNF-α (12 %) while maternal effects contributed to pre-challenge cytokine transcription. Cytokine transcription co-expressed within but not between pre- and post-challenge states. The lack of additive genetic effects indicates that cytokine transcription is not a likely candidate for selection programs to improve immune function in Chinook salmon. Our results add to the growing evidence that non-additivity in salmon is common and contributes to our understanding of the genetic architecture of transcription. This indicates that transcription variation may act to maintain genetic variation and facilitate rapid adaptive response in salmonids. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

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