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Title: Genetic Variation of 17 Wild Yellow Perch Populations from the Midwest and East Coast Analyzed Via Microsatellites

item Shepherd, Brian

Submitted to: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2009
Publication Date: 12/10/2009
Citation: Grzybowski, M., Sepulveda-Villet, O.J., Stepien, C.A., Rosauer, D., Binkowski, F., Klaper, R., Shepherd, B.S., Goetz, F. 2010. Genetic Variation of 17 Wild Yellow Perch Populations from the Midwest and East Coast Analyzed Via Microsatellites. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 139:270-287.

Interpretive Summary: Yellow Perch are an ecologically and economically important finfish common in Midwest and East Coast aquaculture. The successful production of this species ultimately depends on local stocks possessing desirable traits including fast growth, disease resistance and high fertility. The best approach to attaining these traits is by the use of traditional genetics (controlled breeding). To successfully breed for these traits, it is necessary to have a genetically defined broodstock (animals kept for breeding purposes) for which the genetic variability is known. At present, broodstocks are typically derived from wild populations locally accessible to the producer which can lead to inconsistencies in the success of producers within and between regions; it can also lead to inbreeding (decreased genetic diversity) which can have negative results on production traits. To address this problem, we have initiated a program to establish genetically defined yellow perch broodstocks for commercial perch aquaculture. To accomplish this, we have taken the initial steps of 1) collecting genetic material (DNA) from 17 wild perch populations throughout North America (New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Maryland and Wisconsin); 2) developing new genetic markers (microsatellites), and 3) using these genetic markers to determine the genetic relatedness and diversity of these populations. Herein, we report the characterization of 7 new genetic markers (microsatellites) which have been used to genetically characterize these yellow perch populations. Results indicate that East coast populations are genetically different from Mid-west populations and, within these regions, some populations exhibit higher genetic diversity than others. These results will be used to determine those wild populations from which captive perch broodstocks can be developed for the aquaculture industry.

Technical Abstract: We used microsatellite loci, including seven newly developed by us, to analyze the population genetic structure of wild yellow perch Perca flavescens from 17 sampling areas in the Upper Midwest and East Coast of the United States. Our results revealed greater genetic differentiation and finer-scale geographic structure than were found in previous studies of yellow perch population structure. These findings showed pronounced genetic divergence between Midwest and East Coast samples. Additional genetic partitioning was noted between Chesapeake Bay and Albemarle Sound populations, between inland lakes in the upper Mississippi River system, and among sites in Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario. Further, the structuring of yellow perch populations within the Chesapeake Bay may be significantly influenced by salinity. These findings are being used to help delineate wild populations for the development of captive yellow perch broodstocks for the aquaculture industry.