QuantEscape

Breeding and genetics  

This project combines expertise from four central research institutions that study interactions between escaped farmed and wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from different perspectives: population genetics, ecology, genomics, and quantitative genetics.

Time:1. January 2012 – 31. December 2015
Financed by: Research Council of Norway
In cooperation with:Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE)

Th e proposal is designed to meet all of the ambitions of the knowledge platform announced by the RCN Havbruk programme. Our proposal will make use of recently developed molecular genetic tools to identify farmed and wild salmon.

The tool (single nucleotide polymorphisms) will be used to quantify gene flow from farmed to wild salmon in a large set of populations. Moreover, we will combine this information with data on the proportions of escaped farmed salmon in the rivers, and with characteristics of the rivers and their salmon populations, to identify factors that facilitate or limit gene flow from farmed to wild fish.

In controlled experiments, we will quantify how farmed salmon change in response to natural selection. Detailed genomic studies of the breeding lines of farmed salmon will be explored to establish genetic signatures of artificial selection in farmed salmon, and also to study to what extent these signatures are evident among their offspring in the wild. Genomic analyses will also be employed to identify more powerful sets of genetic markers for future studies of genetic interactions between farmed and wild salmon.

The combined genetic knowledge gained by the platform will be used to parameterize and refine models to predict the future of wild salmon populations receiving escaped farmed salmon.

The knowledge platform will contribute to the sustainable management of farmed and wild Atlantic salmon, and also benefit the aquaculture industry and wild salmon fisheries and tourism by providing guide lines for sustainable development of aquaculture.

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