Detection of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Related to Grilsing and Late Sexual Maturation in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)



Gutierrez AP, Lubieniecki KP, Fukui S, Withler RE, Swift B & Davidson WS (2014) Detection of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Related to Grilsing and Late Sexual Maturation in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar). Marine Biotechnology, 16 (1), pp. 103-110.

In Atlantic salmon aquaculture, early sexual maturation represents a major problem for producers. This is especially true for grilse, which mature after one sea winter before reaching a desirable harvest weight, rather than after two sea winters. Salmon maturing as grilse have a much lower market value than later maturing individuals. For this reason, most companies desire fish that grow fast and mature late. Marker-assisted selection has the potential to improve the efficiency of selection against early maturation and for late sexual maturation; however, studies identifying age of sexual maturation-related genetic markers are lacking for Atlantic salmon. Therefore, we used a 6.5K single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array to genotype five families from the Mainstream Canada broodstock program and search for SNPs associated with early (grilsing) or late sexual maturation. There were 529 SNP loci that were variable across all five families, and this was the set that was used for quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. GridQTL identified two chromosomes, Ssa10 and Ssa21, containing QTL related to grilsing. In contrast, only one QTL, on Ssa18, was found linked to late maturation in Atlantic salmon. Our previous work on these five families did not identify genome-wide significant growth-related QTL on Ssa10, Ssa21, or Ssa18. Therefore, taken together, these results suggest that both grilsing and late sexual maturation are controlled independently of one another and also from growth-related traits. The identification of genomic regions associated with grilsing or late sexual maturation provide an opportunity to incorporate this information into selective breeding programs that will enhance Atlantic salmon farming.

Atlantic salmon; Sexual maturation; Grilsing; QTL; SNP array

Marine Biotechnology: Volume 16, Issue 1

Publication date28/02/2014
Publication date online04/08/2013
Date accepted by journal15/07/2013
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

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Dr Alejandro Gutierrez
Dr Alejandro Gutierrez

Lecturer in Genetic Improvement, Institute of Aquaculture