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Factors influencing effective population size in commercial populations of gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata

Brown RC, Woolliams JA & McAndrew B (2005) Factors influencing effective population size in commercial populations of gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata, Aquaculture, 247 (1-4), pp. 219-225.

Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) is one of the most important species among intensively reared fish in the Mediterranean region. Although there is a considerable interest in the genetic improvement of this species, many of the genetic parameters of commercial stocks have yet to be investigated. The effective population size (Ne) of a commercial gilthead seabream broodstock was determined using microsatellite analysis. Eight microsatellite loci were used to ensure a high confidence to the parental assignment of offspring from several mass-spawning events. The Ne was consistently low, ranging from 14 to 18, between photoperiod-controlled broodstock groups. This equated to an inbreeding rate of 2.7-3.5% per generation. The primary constraint on Ne was the high variance in family size and fewer males than females contributing to each spawning. The contribution of male parents to spawning was also more variable than females. Log-linear modelling of offspring counts revealed a significant quadratic relationship, with intermediate parental weights being optimum. The relationship between parental weight and contribution may be evidence of an optimum age structure to the broodstock, or stabilising selection. Low Ne in commercial stocks of gilthead seabream could lead to an increased risk of inbreeding through the practice of broodstock replacement from within same-farm populations.

Sparus aurata; effective population size; inbreeding; parental contribution; mass-spawning

Subject headings
Fish populations Measurement; Seabream, Gilthead

AuthorsBrown R Cameron, Woolliams John A, McAndrew Brendan
Publication date30/06/2005
ISSN 0044-8486

Aquaculture: Volume 247, Issue 1-4 (JUN 30 2005)

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