Publications by authors named "Kevin Alan Glover"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Geographic variation in gene flow from a genetically distinct migratory ecotype drives population genetic structure of coastal Atlantic cod ( L.).

Evol Appl 2022 Jul 21;15(7):1162-1176. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Institute of Marine Research Bergen Norway.

Identifying how physical and biotic factors shape genetic connectivity among populations in time and space is essential to our understanding of the evolutionary trajectory as well as the management of marine species. Atlantic cod is a widespread and commercially important marine species displaying several ecotypes with different life history strategies. Using three sets of SNPs: neutral, informative, and genome-inversion linked, we studied population genetic structure of ~2500 coastal Atlantic cod (CC) from 40 locations along Norway's 2500 km coastline, including nine fjords. We observed: (1) a genetic cline, suggesting a mechanism of isolation by distance, characterized by a declining between CC and North East Arctic Cod (NEAC-genetically distinct migratory ecotype) with increasing latitude, (2) that in the north, samples of CC from outer-fjord areas were genetically more similar to NEAC than were samples of CC from their corresponding inner-fjord areas, (3) greater population genetic differentiation among CC sampled from outer-fjord areas along the coast, than among CC sampled from their corresponding inner-fjord areas, (4) genetic differentiation among samples of CC from both within and among fjords. Collectively, these results permit us to draw two main conclusions. First, that differences in the relative presence of the genetically highly distinct, migratory ecotype NEAC, declining from north to south and from outer to inner fjord, plays the major role in driving population genetic structure of the Norwegian CC. Second, that there is limited connectivity between CC from different fjords. These results suggest that the current management units implemented for this species in Norway should be divided into smaller entities. Furthermore, the situation where introgression from one ecotype drives population genetic structure of another, as is the case here, may exist in other species and geographical regions, thus creating additional challenges for sustainable fisheries management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.13422DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9309456PMC
July 2022

Introgression of domesticated salmon changes life history and phenology of a wild salmon population.

Evol Appl 2022 May 11;15(5):853-864. Epub 2022 Apr 11.

Institute of Marine Research Bergen Norway.

The release of domesticated conspecifics into the natural environment, whether deliberate or accidental, has the potential to alter the genetic integrity and evolutionary trajectory of wild populations. This widespread challenge is of particular concern for wild Atlantic salmon. By investigating phenotypic differences between the offspring of domesticated, hybrid, and wild Atlantic salmon released into the natural environment, earlier studies have documented the short-term consequences of introgression from domesticated fish into wild salmon populations. However, few studies have investigated the joined product of introgression and natural selection after several generations. Here, we investigated the phenotypic response of an Atlantic salmon population that has been subjected to an average of 24% genetic admixture by domesticated conspecifics escaping from fish farms over three decades (approximately 6-7 generations). Individual levels of admixture were positively correlated with increased size at the smolt and adult stages for both sexes, a decrease in the age of male smolts, and a decrease in the age at maturity for males. These life history changes are presumably the consequence of the well-documented directional selection for increased growth in domesticated salmon and are likely maladaptive. However, the most novel result of this study is that admixture was positively linked with delayed date of return to the river, with highly admixed fish arriving up to 26 days later than nonadmixed fish. Potentially, this phenological change provides admixed individuals with a survival advantage in the later phase of the life cycle as it reduces their period of exposure to selection through rod and line angling. We, therefore, conclude that while gene flow from domesticated conspecifics changes life history and phenological traits of wild Atlantic salmon populations, most of which are likely to be maladaptive, when pressured by additional anthropogenic challenges, some changes may confer a fitness advantage for a short part of the life cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.13375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9108307PMC
May 2022

Time series covering up to four decades reveals major changes and drivers of marine growth and proportion of repeat spawners in an Atlantic salmon population.

Ecol Evol 2022 Apr 2;12(4):e8780. Epub 2022 Apr 2.

Institute of Marine Research Bergen Norway.

Wild Atlantic salmon populations have declined in many regions and are affected by diverse natural and anthropogenic factors. To facilitate management guidelines, precise knowledge of mechanisms driving population changes in demographics and life history traits is needed.Our analyses were conducted on (a) age and growth data from scales of salmon caught by angling in the river Etneelva, Norway, covering smolt year classes from 1980 to 2018, (b) extensive sampling of the whole spawning run in the fish trap from 2013 onwards, and (c) time series of sea surface temperature, zooplankton biomass, and salmon lice infestation intensity.Marine growth during the first year at sea displayed a distinct stepwise decline across the four decades. Simultaneously, the population shifted from predominantly 1SW to 2SW salmon, and the proportion of repeat spawners increased from 3 to 7%. The latter observation is most evident in females and likely due to decreased marine exploitation. Female repeat spawners tended to be less catchable than males by anglers.Depending on the time period analyzed, marine growth rate during the first year at sea was both positively and negatively associated with sea surface temperature. Zooplankton biomass was positively associated with growth, while salmon lice infestation intensity was negatively associated with growth.Collectively, these results are likely to be linked with both changes in oceanic conditions and harvest regimes. Our conflicting results regarding the influence of sea surface temperature on marine growth are likely to be caused by long-term increases in temperature, which may have triggered (or coincided with) ecosystem shifts creating generally poorer growth conditions over time, but within shorter datasets warmer years gave generally higher growth. We encourage management authorities to expand the use of permanently monitored reference rivers with complete trapping facilities, like the river Etneelva, generating valuable long-term data for future analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8780DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8976282PMC
April 2022

Domestication-induced reduction in eye size revealed in multiple common garden experiments: The case of Atlantic salmon ( L.).

Evol Appl 2021 Sep 21;14(9):2319-2332. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Population Genetics Research Group Institute of Marine Research Bergen Norway.

Domestication leads to changes in traits that are under directional selection in breeding programmes, though unintentional changes in nonproduction traits can also arise. In offspring of escaping fish and any hybrid progeny, such unintentionally altered traits may reduce fitness in the wild. Atlantic salmon breeding programmes were established in the early 1970s, resulting in genetic changes in multiple traits. However, the impact of domestication on eye size has not been studied. We measured body size corrected eye size in 4000 salmon from six common garden experiments conducted under artificial and natural conditions, in freshwater and saltwater environments, in two countries. Within these common gardens, offspring of domesticated and wild parents were crossed to produce 11 strains, with varying genetic backgrounds (wild, domesticated, F1 hybrids, F2 hybrids and backcrosses). Size-adjusted eye size was influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Domesticated fish reared under artificial conditions had smaller adjusted eye size when compared to wild fish reared under identical conditions, in both the freshwater and marine environments, and in both Irish and Norwegian experiments. However, in parr that had been introduced into a river environment shortly after hatching and sampled at the end of their first summer, differences in adjusted eye size observed among genetic groups were of a reduced magnitude and were nonsignificant in 2-year-old sea migrating smolts sampled in the river immediately prior to sea entry. Collectively, our findings could suggest that where natural selection is present, individuals with reduced eye size are maladapted and consequently have reduced fitness, building on our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie a well-documented reduction in the fitness of the progeny of domesticated salmon, including hybrid progeny, in the wild.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.13297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8477603PMC
September 2021

The potential for cleaner fish-driven evolution in the salmon louse : Genetic or environmental control of pigmentation?

Ecol Evol 2021 Jun 16;11(12):7865-7878. Epub 2021 May 16.

Department of Biological Sciences Sea Lice Research Centre University of Bergen Bergen Norway.

The parasitic salmon louse represents one of the biggest challenges to environmentally sustainable salmonid aquaculture across the globe. This species also displays a high evolutionary potential, as demonstrated by its rapid development of resistance to delousing chemicals. In response, farms now use a range of non-chemical delousing methods, including cleaner fish that eat lice from salmon. Anecdotal reports suggest that in regions where cleaner fish are extensively used on farms, lice have begun to appear less pigmented and therefore putatively less visible to cleaner fish. However, it remains an open question whether these observations reflect a plastic (environmental) or adaptive (genetic) response. To investigate this, we developed a pigment scoring system and conducted complimentary experiments which collectively demonstrate that, a) louse pigmentation is strongly influenced by environmental conditions, most likely light, and b) the presence of modest but significant differences in pigmentation between two strains of lice reared under identical conditions. Based on these data, we conclude that pigmentation in the salmon louse is strongly influenced by environmental conditions, yet there are also indications of underlying genetic control. Therefore, lice could display both plastic and adaptive responses to extensive cleaner fish usage where visual appearance is likely to influence survival of lice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216962PMC
June 2021

Losing the 'arms race': multiresistant salmon lice are dispersed throughout the North Atlantic Ocean.

R Soc Open Sci 2021 May 26;8(5):210265. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Biology, Sea Lice Research Center, University of Bergen, PO Box 7803, 5020 Bergen, Norway.

Nothing lasts forever, including the effect of chemicals aimed to control pests in food production. As old pesticides have been compromised by emerging resistance, new ones have been introduced and turned the odds back in our favour. With time, however, some pests have developed multi-pesticide resistance, challenging our ability to control them. In salmonid aquaculture, the ectoparasitic salmon louse has developed resistance to most of the available delousing compounds. The discovery of genetic markers associated with resistance to organophosphates and pyrethroids made it possible for us to investigate simultaneous resistance to both compounds in approximately 2000 samples of salmon lice from throughout the North Atlantic in the years 2000-2016. We observed widespread and increasing multiresistance on the European side of the Atlantic, particularly in areas with intensive aquaculture. Multiresistant lice were also found on wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout, and also on farmed salmonid hosts in areas where delousing chemicals have not been used. In areas with intensive aquaculture, there are almost no lice left that are sensitive to both compounds. These results demonstrate the speed to which this parasite can develop widespread multiresistance, illustrating why the aquaculture industry has repeatedly lost the arms race with this highly problematic parasite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.210265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8150044PMC
May 2021

Autosomal Pseudogenes Explain Discordances Between Phenotypic Sex and DNA Marker for Sex Identification in Atlantic Salmon.

Front Genet 2020 14;11:544207. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway.

Despite the key role that sex-determination plays in evolutionary processes, it is still poorly understood in many species. In salmonids, which are among the best studied fishes, the master sex-determining gene sexually dimorphic on the Y-chromosome () has been identified. However, displays unexplained discordance to the phenotypic sex, with a variable frequency of phenotypic females being reported as genetic males. Multiple sex determining loci in Atlantic salmon have also been reported, possibly as a result of recent transposition events in this species. We hypothesized the existence of an autosomal copy of , causing apparent discordance between phenotypic and genetic sex, that is transmitted in accordance with autosomal inheritance. To test this, we developed a qPCR methodology to detect the total number of copies present in the genome. Based on the observed phenotype/genotype frequencies and linkage analysis among 2,025 offspring from 64 pedigree-controlled families of accurately phenotyped Atlantic salmon, we identified both males and females carrying one or two autosomal copies of in addition to the Y-specific copy present in males. Patterns across families were highly consistent with autosomal inheritance. These autosomal copies appear to have lost the ability to function as a sex determining gene and were only occasionally assigned to the actual sex chromosome in any of the affected families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.544207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7591749PMC
October 2020

Production and verification of the first Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) clonal lines.

BMC Genet 2020 07 8;21(1):71. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Institute of Marine Research, 5984, Matredal, Norway.

Background: In several fish species homozygous and heterozygous clonal lines have been produced using gynogenetic and androgenetic techniques. These lines are standardized and can be reproduced over generations. In rainbow trout such lines have existed for decades and has become important research tools in genome studies as well as in studies of commercially important traits. The Atlantic salmon is one of the best studied fish species globally, but all experiments are done on fish of wild or domesticated origin and access to standardized immortal fish lines would be of great benefit. Here, we describe the protocols developed to produce mitotic gynogenes, and from these the first clonal lines in Atlantic salmon.

Results: Atlantic salmon eggs fertilized with UV irradiated sperm combined with a pressure shock applied at 4700-4800 minC at 8 °C gave all homozygous (doubled haploid) gynogenetic progeny with high survival. From the six first maturing females, five all homozygous clonal lines were produced by meiotic gynogenesis and were verified as clonal and identical to their mother with microsatellite markers.

Conclusions: We have now produced the first documented cloned Atlantic salmon lines. This work demonstrates the potential for production of further Atlantic salmon clonal lines, potentially with distinct characteristics. Such lines will provide an important resource for further elucidation of phenotypic and genetic traits in this globally important species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12863-020-00878-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346428PMC
July 2020

Evolutionary drivers of kype size in Atlantic salmon (): domestication, age and genetics.

R Soc Open Sci 2019 Apr 17;6(4):190021. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Population Genetics Research Group, Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, Nordnes, NO-5817 Bergen, Norway.

The diversity of reproduction and associated mating patterns in Atlantic salmon () has long captivated evolutionary biologists. exhibit strategies involving migration, bold mating behaviours and radical morphological and physiological change. One such radical change is the elongation and curvature of the lower jaw in sexually mature males into a hook-like appendage called the kype. The kype is a secondary sexual characteristic used in mating hierarchies and a prime candidate for sexual selection. As one of the core global aquaculture fish species, however, mate choice, and thus sexual selection, has been replaced by industrial artificial fertilization seeking to develop more commercially viable strains. Removal of mate choice provides a unique opportunity to examine the kype over successive generations in the absence of sexual selection. Here we use a large-scale common-garden experiment, incorporating six experimental strains (wild, farmed and wild × farmed hybrids), experiencing one to three sea winters, to assess the impact of age and genetic background. After controlling for allometry, fork length-adjusted kype height (AKH) was significantly reduced in the domesticated strain in comparison to two wild strains. Furthermore, genetic variation at a locus on linkage group SSA1 was associated with kype height, and a locus on linkage group SSA23 was associated with fork length-adjusted kype length (AKL). The reduction in fork length-AKH in domesticated salmon suggests that the kype is of importance in mate choice and that it has decreased due to relaxation of sexual selection. Fork length-AKL showed an increase in domesticated individuals, highlighting that it may not be an important cue in mate choice. These results give us insight into the evolutionary significance of the kype, as well as implications of genetic induced phenotypic change caused by domesticated individuals escaping into the natural environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6502380PMC
April 2019

An extensive common-garden study with domesticated and wild Atlantic salmon in the wild reveals impact on smolt production and shifts in fitness traits.

Evol Appl 2019 Jun 6;12(5):1001-1016. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Institute of Marine Research Nordnes, Bergen Norway.

Interactions between domesticated escapees and wild conspecifics represent a threat to the genetic integrity and fitness of native populations. For Atlantic salmon, the recurrent presence of large numbers of domesticated escapees in the wild makes it necessary to better understand their impacts on native populations. We planted 254,400 eggs from 75 families of domesticated, F1-hybrid, and wild salmon in a river containing up- and downstream traps. Additionally, 41,630 hatchery smolts of the same pedigrees were released into the river. Over 8 years, 6,669 out-migrating smolts and 356 returning adults were recaptured and identified to their families of origin with DNA. In comparison with wild salmon, domesticated fish had substantially lower egg to smolt survival (1.8% vs. 3.8% across cohorts), they migrated earlier in the year (11.8 days earlier across years), but they only displayed marginally larger smolt sizes and marginally lower smolt ages. Upon return to freshwater, domesticated salmon were substantially larger at age than wild salmon (2.4 vs. 2.0, 4.8 vs. 3.2, and 8.5 vs. 5.6 kg across sexes for 1, 2, and 3 sea-winter fish) and displayed substantially lower released smolt to adult survival (0.41% vs. 0.94% across releases). Overall, egg-to-returning adult survival ratios were 1:0.76:0.30 and 1:0.44:0.21 for wild:F1-hybrid:domesticated salmon, respectively, using two different types of data. This study represents the most updated and extensive analysis of domesticated, hybrid, and wild salmon in the wild and provides the first documentation of a clear genetic difference in the timing of smolt migration-an adaptive trait presumed to be linked with optimal timing of entry to seawater. We conclude that spawning and hybridization of domesticated escapees can lead to (i) reduced wild smolt output and therefore wild adult abundance, through resource competition in freshwater, (ii) reduced total adult abundance due to freshwater competition and reduced marine survival of domesticated salmon, and (iii) maladaptive changes in phenotypic traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.12777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503829PMC
June 2019

A pedigree-based experiment reveals variation in salinity and thermal tolerance in the salmon louse, .

Evol Appl 2017 12 16;10(10):1007-1019. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Institute of Marine Research Bergen Norway.

The salmon louse is a highly abundant ectoparasitic copepod of salmonids in the North Pacific and Atlantic. Widespread and rapid development of resistance to chemical agents used to delouse salmonids on marine farms is now threatening the continued development of the aquaculture industry and have served as a potent catalyst for the development of alternative pest management strategies. These include freshwater and warm-water treatments to which the louse is sensitive. However, given the well-documented evolutionary capacity of this species, the risk of developing tolerance towards these environmental treatments cannot be dismissed. Two common-garden experiments were performed using full-sibling families of lice identified by DNA parentage testing to investigate whether one of the fundamental premises for evolution, in this context genetic variation in the capacity of coping with fresh or warm water, exists within this species. Significant differences in survival were observed among families in both experiments, although for the salinity experiment, it was not possible to unequivocally disentangle background mortality from treatment-induced mortality. Thus, our data demonstrate genetic variation in tolerance of warm water and are suggestive of genetic variation in salinity tolerance. We conclude that extensive use of these environmental-based treatments to delouse salmonids on commercial farms may drive lice towards increased tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.12505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5680634PMC
December 2017

The Phe362Tyr mutation conveying resistance to organophosphates occurs in high frequencies in salmon lice collected from wild salmon and trout.

Sci Rep 2017 10 27;7(1):14258. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

University of Bergen, Department of Biology, Sea Lice Research Center, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020, Bergen, Norway.

The parasitic salmon louse, and its resistance to chemical delousing agents, represents one of the largest challenges to the salmon aquaculture industry. We genotyped lice sampled from wild salmon and sea trout throughout Norway with the recently identified Phe362Tyr mutation that conveys resistance to organophosphates. These results were compared to data from lice sampled on farmed salmon in the same regions. The resistant (R) allele was observed in salmon lice from wild salmon and sea trout throughout Norway, although its frequency was highest in farming-intense regions. In most regions, the frequency of the R allele was higher in lice collected from wild sea trout than wild Atlantic salmon, and in all regions, the frequency of the R allele was similar in lice collected from wild sea trout and farmed Atlantic salmon. The R allele is only selected for in fish-farms where organophosphates are used for delousing. Therefore, our results suggest extensive exchange of lice between farmed and wild hosts, and indicate that in farming-dense regions in Norway, aquaculture represents a major driver of salmon louse population structure. Finally, these data suggest that the wild hosts within the regions studied will not delay the spread of resistance when organophosphates are used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-14681-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5660183PMC
October 2017

Plasticity in growth of farmed and wild Atlantic salmon: is the increased growth rate of farmed salmon caused by evolutionary adaptations to the commercial diet?

BMC Evol Biol 2016 Dec 1;16(1):264. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, Nordnes, NO-5817, Bergen, Norway.

Background: Domestication of Atlantic salmon for commercial aquaculture has resulted in farmed salmon displaying substantially higher growth rates than wild salmon under farming conditions. In contrast, growth differences between farmed and wild salmon are much smaller when compared in the wild. The mechanisms underlying this contrast between environments remain largely unknown. It is possible that farmed salmon have adapted to the high-energy pellets developed specifically for aquaculture, contributing to inflated growth differences when fed on this diet. We studied growth and survival of 15 families of farmed, wild and F1 hybrid salmon fed three contrasting diets under hatchery conditions; a commercial salmon pellet diet, a commercial carp pellet diet, and a mixed natural diet consisting of preserved invertebrates commonly found in Norwegian rivers.

Results: For all groups, despite equal numbers of calories presented by all diets, overall growth reductions as high 68 and 83%, relative to the salmon diet was observed in the carp and natural diet treatments, respectively. Farmed salmon outgrew hybrid (intermediate) and wild salmon in all treatments. The relative growth difference between wild and farmed fish was highest in the carp diet (1: 2.1), intermediate in the salmon diet (1:1.9) and lowest in the natural diet (1:1.6). However, this trend was non-significant, and all groups displayed similar growth reaction norms and plasticity towards differing diets across the treatments.

Conclusions: No indication of genetic-based adaptation to the form or nutritional content of commercial salmon diets was detected in the farmed salmon. Therefore, we conclude that diet alone, at least in the absence of other environmental stressors, is not the primary cause for the large contrast in growth differences between farmed and wild salmon in the hatchery and wild. Additionally, we conclude that genetically-increased appetite is likely to be the primary reason why farmed salmon display higher growth rates than wild salmon when fed ad lib rations under hatchery conditions. Our results contribute towards an understanding of the potential genetic changes that have occurred in farmed salmon in response to domestication, and the potential mechanisms underpinning genetic and ecological interactions between farmed escapees and wild salmonids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12862-016-0841-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5134087PMC
December 2016

Salmonid fish: model organisms to study cardiovascular morphogenesis in conjoined twins?

BMC Dev Biol 2016 07 16;16(1):25. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Background: There is a gap in knowledge regarding the cardiovascular system in fish conjoined twins, and regarding the cardiovascular morphogenesis of conjoined twins in general. We examined the cardiovascular system in a pair of fully developed ventrally conjoined salmonid twins (45.5 g body weight), and the arrangement of the blood vessels during early development in ventrally conjoined yolk sac larvae salmonid twins (<0.5 g body weight).

Results: In the fully developed twins, one twin was normal, while the other was small and severely malformed. The mouth of the small twin was blocked, inhibiting respiration and feeding. Both twins had hearts, but these were connected through a common circulatory system. They were joined by the following blood vessels: (i) arteria iliaca running from arteria caudalis of the large twin to the kidney of the small twin; (ii) arteria subclavia running from aorta dorsalis of the large twin to aorta dorsalis of the small twin; (iii) vena hepatica running from the liver of the small twin into the sinus venosus of the large twin. Among the yolk sac larvae twins investigated, distinct vascular connections were found in some individuals through a joined v. vitellina hepatica.

Conclusions: Ventrally conjoined fish twins can develop cardiovascular connections during early development, enabling a normal superior twin to supply a malfunctioning twin with oxygen and nutrients. Since the yolk sac in salmonids is transparent, twinning in salmonids may be a useful model in which to study cardiovascular morphogenesis in conjoined twins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12861-016-0125-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4947332PMC
July 2016

Thermal plasticity in farmed, wild and hybrid Atlantic salmon during early development: has domestication caused divergence in low temperature tolerance?

BMC Evol Biol 2016 Feb 16;16:38. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Population Genetics Research Group, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway.

Background: In the past three decades, millions of domesticated Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. have escaped from farms into the wild. Their offspring display reduced survival in the natural environment, which demonstrates that gene-flow is likely to have a negative effect on wild populations. However, inter-population differences in introgression of farmed salmon have been observed, and the underlying ecological mechanisms remain enigmatic. We hypothesised that domestication-driven divergence in tolerance to low temperatures during early development may contribute to lower survival of farmed salmon offspring in the wild, which in turn, may influence patterns of introgression among populations exposed to different temperature regimes. We reared the offspring of 35 families of wild, farmed and hybrid origin at three temperatures (3.9, 5.6 and 12°C) from the onset of exogenous feeding and throughout their first summer. Thermal reaction norms for growth and survival were investigated along the gradient.

Results: The main results of this study, which is based upon the analysis of juvenile salmon from five wild strains, two farmed strains and two hybrid strains, can be summarised as; (i) salmon of all origins were able to successfully initiate feeding at all temperatures and similar survival reaction norms were detected in all strains across the temperature gradient; (ii) deviating growth reaction norms were detected between strains, although this result was most likely due to an overall lack of growth in the lower temperature treatments.

Conclusions: This study revealed no evidence of domesticated-driven divergence in low temperature tolerance in Atlantic salmon during early development. Although the potential interaction between low temperature and other river-specific factors cannot be excluded, our results indicate that the reduced survival of farmed offspring in the wild is not explained by farmed salmon displaying impaired abilities to initiate feeding at low temperatures. We therefore suggest that the observed inter-population patterns of introgression are not low-temperature driven and that other ecological or biological factors may explain why detection of farmed salmon in wild rivers is not synonymous with introgression. In general, our results support the literature indicating that phenotypic plasticity instead of thermal adaption has been selected for in Atlantic salmon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12862-016-0607-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4754860PMC
February 2016

Hatching time and alevin growth prior to the onset of exogenous feeding in farmed, wild and hybrid Norwegian Atlantic salmon.

PLoS One 2014 1;9(12):e113697. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

Population genetics research group, Institute of Marine Research, Nordnes, Bergen, Norway; Sea lice Research Centre, Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

The onset of exogenous feeding, when juveniles emerge from the gravel, is a critical event for salmonids where early emergence and large size provide a competitive advantage in the wild. Studying 131 farmed, hybrid and wild Norwegian Atlantic salmon families, originating from four wild populations and two commercial strains, we investigated whether approximately 10 generations of selection for faster growth has also resulted in increased somatic growth prior to the onset of exogenous feeding. In addition, we tested whether relaxed selection in farms has allowed for alterations in hatching time between farmed and wild salmon. Across three cohorts, wild salmon families hatched earlier than farmed salmon families, while hybrid families displayed intermediate hatching times. While the observed differences were small, i.e., 1-15 degree-days (0-3 days, as water temperatures were c. 5-6°C), these data suggest additive genetic variation for hatching time. Alevin length prior to exogenous feeding was positively related to egg size. After removal of egg size effects, no systematic differences in alevin length were observed between the wild and farmed salmon families. While these results indicate additive genetic variation for egg development timing, and wild salmon families consistently hatched earlier than farmed salmon families, these differences were so small they are unlikely to significantly influence early life history competition of farmed and wild salmon in the natural environment. This is especially the case given that the timing of spawning among females can vary by several weeks in some rivers. The general lack of difference in size between farmed and wild alevins, strongly suggest that the documented differences in somatic growth rate between wild and farmed Norwegian Atlantic salmon under hatchery conditions are first detectable after the onset of exogenous feeding.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113697PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4249964PMC
September 2015

A common-garden experiment to quantify evolutionary processes in copepods: the case of emamectin benzoate resistance in the parasitic sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis.

BMC Evol Biol 2014 May 19;14:108. Epub 2014 May 19.

Institute of Marine Research, P,O, Box 1870 Nordnes, N-5817 Bergen, Norway.

Background: The development of pesticide resistance represents a global challenge to food production. Specifically for the Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry, parasitic sea lice and their developing resistance to delousing chemicals is challenging production. In this study, seventeen full sibling families, established from three strains of Lepeophtheirus salmonis displaying differing backgrounds in emamectin benzoate (EB) tolerance were produced and quantitatively compared under a common-garden experimental design. Lice surviving to the preadult stage were then exposed to EB and finally identified through the application of DNA parentage testing.

Results: With the exception of two families (19 and 29%), survival from the infectious copepod to preadult stage was very similar among families (40-50%). In contrast, very large differences in survival following EB exposure were observed among the families (7.9-74%). Family survival post EB exposure was consistent with the EB tolerance characteristics of the strains from which they were established and no negative effect on infection success were detected in association with increased EB tolerance. Two of the lice families that displayed reduced sensitivity to EB were established from a commercial farm that had previously used this chemical. This demonstrates that resistant alleles were present on this farm even though the farm had not reported treatment failure.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this represents the first study where families of any multi-cellular parasite have been established and compared in performance under communal rearing conditions in a common-garden experiment. The system performed in a predictable manner and permitted, for the first time, elucidation of quantitative traits among sea lice families. While this experiment concentrated on, and provided a unique insight into EB sensitivity among lice families, the experimental design represents a novel methodology to experimentally address both resistance development and other evolutionary questions in parasitic copepods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-14-108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4057923PMC
May 2014

Pacific and Atlantic Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer, 1838) are allopatric subspecies: Lepeophtheirus salmonis salmonis and L. salmonis oncorhynchi subspecies novo.

BMC Genet 2014 Mar 14;15:32. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

Institute of Marine Research, P,O, Box 1870, Nordnes, 5817, Bergen, Norway.

Background: The salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis is a parasitic copepod that infects salmonids in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Although considered as a single species, morphological and biological differences have been reported between lice from the two oceans. Likewise, studies based on nucleotide sequencing have demonstrated that sequence differences between Atlantic and Pacific L. salmonis are highly significant, albeit smaller than the divergence observed between congeneric copepod species.

Results: We demonstrated reproductive compatibility between L. salmonis from the two oceans and successfully established F2 hybrid strains using separate maternal lines from both the Pacific and Atlantic. The infection success for the F2 hybrid strains were similar to results typically observed for non hybrid lice strains in the rearing facility used. Lepeophtheirus salmonis COI and 16S sequences divergence between individuals from the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans was high compared to what may be expected within a copepod species and phylogenetic analysis showed that they consistently formed monophyletic clades representing their origin from the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.

Conclusions: Lepeophtheirus salmonis from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are reproductively compatible at least until adults at the F2 hybrid stage, and should not be regarded as separate species based on reproductive segregation or sequence divergence levels. Reported biological and genetic differences in L. salmonis seen in conjunction with the reported genetic diversity commonly observed between and within species demonstrate that Atlantic and Pacific L. salmonis should be regarded as two subspecies: Lepeophtheirus salmonis salmonis and L. salmonis oncorhynchi subsp. nov.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2156-15-32DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007600PMC
March 2014

Growth reaction norms of domesticated, wild and hybrid Atlantic salmon families in response to differing social and physical environments.

BMC Evol Biol 2013 Oct 28;13:234. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

Section of Population Genetics and Ecology, Institute of Marine Research, P,O, Box 1870, Nordnes, NO-5817 Bergen, Norway.

Background: Directional selection for growth has resulted in the 9-10th generation of domesticated Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. outgrowing wild salmon by a ratio of approximately 3:1 when reared under standard hatchery conditions. In the wild however, growth of domesticated and wild salmon is more similar, and seems to differ at the most by a ratio of 1.25:1. Comparative studies of quantitative traits in farmed and wild salmon are often performed by the use of common-garden experiments where salmon of all origins are reared together to avoid origin-specific environmental differences. As social interaction may influence growth, the large observed difference in growth between wild and domesticated salmon in the hatchery may not be entirely genetically based, but inflated by inter-strain competition. This study had two primary aims: (i) investigate the effect of social interaction and inter-strain competition in common-garden experiments, by comparing the relative growth of farmed, hybrid and wild salmon when reared together and separately; (ii) investigate the competitive balance between wild and farmed salmon by comparing their norm of reaction for survival and growth along an environmental gradient ranging from standard hatchery conditions to a semi-natural environment with restricted feed.

Results: The main results of this study, which are based upon the analysis of more than 6000 juvenile salmon, can be summarised as; (i) there was no difference in relative growth between wild and farmed salmon when reared together and separately; (ii) the relative difference in body weight at termination between wild and farmed salmon decreased as mortality increased along the environmental gradient approaching natural conditions.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that potential social interactions between wild and farmed salmon when reared communally are not likely to cause an overestimation of the genetic growth differences between them. Therefore, common-garden experiments represent a valid methodological approach to investigate genetic differences between wild and farmed salmon. As growth of surviving salmon of all origins became more similar as mortality increased along the environmental gradient approaching natural conditions, a hypothesis is presented suggesting that size-selective mortality is a possible factor reducing growth differences between these groups in the wild.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-13-234DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231500PMC
October 2013

Atlantic salmon populations invaded by farmed escapees: quantifying genetic introgression with a Bayesian approach and SNPs.

BMC Genet 2013 Aug 23;14:74. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Section of Population Genetics and Ecology, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway.

Background: Many native Atlantic salmon populations have been invaded by domesticated escapees for three decades or longer. However, thus far, the cumulative level of gene-flow that has occurred from farmed to wild salmon has not been reported for any native Atlantic salmon population. The aim of the present study was to investigate temporal genetic stability in native populations, and, quantify gene-flow from farmed salmon that caused genetic changes where they were observed. This was achieved by genotyping historical and contemporary samples from 20 populations covering all of Norway with recently identified single nucleotide polymorphism markers that are collectively diagnostic for farmed and wild salmon. These analyses were combined with analysis of farmed salmon and implementation of Approximate Bayesian computation based simulations.

Results: Five of the populations displayed statistically significant temporal genetic changes. All five of these populations became more similar to a pool of farmed fish with time, strongly suggesting introgression of farmed fish as the primary cause. The remaining 15 populations displayed weak or non-significant temporal genetic changes. Estimated introgression of farmed fish ranged from 2-47% per population using approximate Bayesian computation. Thus, some populations exhibited high degrees of farmed salmon introgression while others were more or less unaffected. The observed frequency of escapees in each population was moderately correlated with estimated introgression per population R² = 0.47 P < 0.001. Genetic isolation by distance existed within the historical and contemporary data sets, however, the among-population level of divergence decreased with time.

Conclusions: This is the first study to quantify cumulative introgression of farmed salmon in any native Atlantic salmon population. The estimations demonstrate that the level of introgression has been population-specific, and that the level of introgression is not solely predicted by the frequency of escapees observed in the population. However, some populations have been strongly admixed with farmed salmon, and these data provide policy makers with unique information to address this situation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2156-14-74DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765417PMC
August 2013

Molecular genetic analysis of stomach contents reveals wild Atlantic cod feeding on piscine reovirus (PRV) infected Atlantic salmon originating from a commercial fish farm.

PLoS One 2013 19;8(4):e60924. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway.

In March 2012, fishermen operating in a fjord in Northern Norway reported catching Atlantic cod, a native fish forming an economically important marine fishery in this region, with unusual prey in their stomachs. It was speculated that these could be Atlantic salmon, which is not typical prey for cod at this time of the year in the coastal zone. These observations were therefore reported to the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries as a suspected interaction between a local fish farm and this commercial fishery. Statistical analyses of genetic data from 17 microsatellite markers genotyped on 36 partially-degraded prey, samples of salmon from a local fish farm, and samples from the nearest wild population permitted the following conclusions: 1. The prey were Atlantic salmon, 2. These salmon did not originate from the local wild population, and 3. The local farm was the most probable source of these prey. Additional tests demonstrated that 21 of the 36 prey were infected with piscine reovirus. While the potential link between piscine reovirus and the disease heart and skeletal muscle inflammation is still under scientific debate, this disease had caused mortality of large numbers of salmon in the farm in the month prior to the fishermen's observations. These analyses provide new insights into interactions between domesticated and wild fish.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0060924PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3631239PMC
November 2013

Does domestication cause changes in growth reaction norms? A study of farmed, wild and hybrid Atlantic salmon families exposed to environmental stress.

PLoS One 2013 31;8(1):e54469. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Section of Population Genetics and Ecology, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway.

One of the most important traits linked with the successful domestication of animals is reducing their sensitivity to environmental stressors in the human controlled environment. In order to examine whether domestication selection in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L., over approximately ten generations, has inadvertently selected for reduced responsiveness to stress, we compared the growth reaction norms of 29 wild, hybrid and domesticated families reared together under standard hatchery conditions (control) and in the presence of a stressor (reduced water level twice daily). The experiment was conducted for a 14 week period. Farmed salmon outgrew wild salmon 1:2.93 in the control tanks, and no overlap in mean weight was displayed between families representing the three groups. Thus, the elevation of the reaction norms differed among the groups. Overall, growth was approximately 25% lower in the stressed tanksl; however, farmed salmon outgrew wild salmon 1:3.42 under these conditions. That farmed salmon maintained a relatively higher growth rate than the wild salmon in the stressed tanks demonstrates a lower responsiveness to stress in the farmed salmon. Thus, flatter reaction norm slopes were displayed in the farmed salmon, demonstrating reduced plasticity for this trait under these specific experimental conditions. For all growth measurements, hybrid salmon displayed intermediate values. Wild salmon displayed higher heritability estimates for body weight than the hybrid and farmed salmon in both environments. This suggests reduced genetic variation for body weight in the farmed contra wild salmon studied here. While these results may be linked to the specific families and stocks investigated, and verification in other stocks and traits is needed, these data are consistent with the theoretical predictions of domestication.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0054469PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561353PMC
August 2013

Local and systemic gene expression responses of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) to infection with the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis).

BMC Genomics 2008 Oct 23;9:498. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

Nofima Akvaforsk Fiskeriforskning, POBox 5010, As 1430, Norway.

Background: The salmon louse (SL) is an ectoparasitic caligid crustacean infecting salmonid fishes in the marine environment. SL represents one of the major challenges for farming of salmonids, and veterinary intervention is necessary to combat infection. This study addressed gene expression responses of Atlantic salmon infected with SL, which may account for its high susceptibility.

Results: The effects of SL infection on gene expression in Atlantic salmon were studied throughout the infection period from copepodids at 3 days post infection (dpi) to adult lice (33 dpi). Gene expression was analyzed at three developmental stages in damaged and intact skin, spleen, head kidney and liver, using real-time qPCR and a salmonid cDNA microarray (SFA2). Rapid detection of parasites was indicated by the up-regulation of immunoglobulins in the spleen and head kidney and IL-1 receptor type 1, CD4, beta-2-microglobulin, IL-12beta, CD8alpha and arginase 1 in the intact skin of infected fish. Most immune responses decreased at 22 dpi, however, a second activation was observed at 33 dpi. The observed pattern of gene expression in damaged skin suggested the development of inflammation with signs of Th2-like responses. Involvement of T cells in responses to SL was witnessed with up-regulation of CD4, CD8alpha and programmed death ligand 1. Signs of hyporesponsive immune cells were seen. Cellular stress was prevalent in damaged skin as seen by highly significant up-regulation of heat shock proteins, other chaperones and mitochondrial proteins. Induction of the major components of extracellular matrix, TGF-beta and IL-10 was observed only at the adult stage of SL. Taken together with up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), this classifies the wounds afflicted by SL as chronic. Overall, the gene expression changes suggest a combination of chronic stress, impaired healing and immunomodulation. Steady increase of MMP expression in all tissues except liver was a remarkable feature of SL infected fish.

Conclusion: SL infection in Atlantic salmon is associated with a rapid induction of mixed inflammatory responses, followed by a period of hyporesponsiveness and delayed healing of injuries. Persistent infection may lead to compromised host immunity and tissue self-destruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-9-498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582245PMC
October 2008
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