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Title: Development of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) broodstocks: initial characterization of growth and quality traits following grow-out of different stocks

item ROSAUER, D - Water Institute
item BIGA, P - North Dakota State University
item LINDELL, S - Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory
item BINKOWSKI, F - Water Institute
item Shepherd, Brian
item Palmquist, Debra
item SIMCHICK, C - Water Institute
item GOETZ, F - Water Institute

Submitted to: Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2011
Publication Date: 7/4/2011
Citation: Rosauer, D.R., Biga, P.R., Lindell, S., Binkowski, F., Shepherd, B.S., Palmquist, D.E., Simchick, C., Goetz, F.W. 2011. Development of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) broodstocks: initial characterization of growth and quality traits following grow-out of different stocks. Aquaculture. 317: 58-66.

Interpretive Summary: In the Great Lakes region of North America, yellow perch are a high-value seafood product. But growth in this industry is limited by the lack of access to genetically defined broodstocks that exhibit improved production traits (e.g., high genetic diversity, improved growth and disease resistance). Selective breeding is the most promising approach to addressing these problems in yellow perch aquaculture. We have initiated a selective breeding program with yellow perch that involves coordinated activities to develop tools to genotype broodstocks and select for improved growth. To maximize genetic gain, we selected animals from four wild populations (Choptank River, MD; Perquimans River, NC; Lake Winnebago, WI; and Lac du Flambeau, WI) which originated from separate geographic drainage basins and demonstrated high genetic diversity. Progeny from the Lac du Flambeau crosses did not survive early rearing and were not considered to be suitable for domestication. Growth performance was evaluated in the three remaining strains over a 12-month period. Under these conditions, we found that the Perquimans and Choptank strains outperformed the Lake Winnebago strain. To ascertain which animals to incorporate into the second-generation (improved) broodstock, parentage of selected animals was determined and animals were individually identified. Additionally, animals from each strain were sub-sampled to determine fillet lipid, protein and water content, and fatty acid profiles. While there were no differences in total lipid, protein and moisture content between the strains evaluated, we did find that levels of the essential fatty acids (EFAs), arachidonic acid (ARA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were significantly elevated in the Perquimans strain. Results from the growth study suggest that the Choptank and Perquimans strains are better suited to intensive indoor rearing conditions. However, other traits such as disease resistance, which are not evident from the growth performance trial, may be present in the Winnebago strain.

Technical Abstract: Broodstocks of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were initiated from fertilized gametes obtained from wild fish taken from the Perquimans River (North Carolina), Choptank River (Maryland), Lake Winnebago (Wisconsin), and Lac du Flambeau (Wisconsin). Populations at these sites were chosen based on the results of a prior population genetics study of perch populations from the upper Midwest and East Coast (Grzybowski et al., 2010) and were based on: drainage basins, overall genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficient, and the logistics of obtaining and crossing wild perch at each location. Fertilized gametes of all four stocks were reared under identical early life stage rearing conditions. Of the four stocks, Lac du Flambeau fish did not survive feed habituation. Progeny from the other three stocks were evaluated in a growth trial consisting of four replicate tanks per stock reared under identical conditions until one-year post hatch. Perquimans River and Choptank River fish did not differ in absolute growth rate (AGR), and both achieved an AGR 2.5 times as great as the Lake Winnebago fish. Average weights differed significantly between all stocks by the end of the growth trial, with Perquimans River being the heaviest and Lake Winnebago the lightest. When each stock reached an average of 28 g, individuals were assigned to one of four size classes, and the overall family contribution to each specific size class was determined by completing parentage analysis using microsatellites on a subset of individuals. Deviations from expected frequencies based on stocking proportions were observed in all stocks, indicating a genetic link to growth and the ability to increase growth using selection. At the end of the growth trial, 40 individuals per stock were filleted for fillet yield and proximate analysis. No differences were observed in fillet yield, lipid, protein or moisture content. Significant differences were seen in arachidonic and eicosapentaenoic acid levels. The differences between stocks in growth show that the Perquimans River and Choptank River lines are likely to outperform the Lake Winnebago stock in intensive aquaculture environments. However, there may be other phenotypes such as disease resistance that are not evident from the growth trial in other stocks such as Lake Winnebago. The inability of Lac du Flambeau fish to survive early life stage rearing would indicate that these fish are not good candidates for broodstock development, using the husbandry approaches employed in the current study.