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Status and opportunities for genomics research with rainbow trout.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences and Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4236, USA. thorglab@wsu.edu


The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is one of the most widely studied of model fish species. Extensive basic biological information has been collected for this species, which because of their large size relative to other model fish species are particularly suitable for studies requiring ample quantities of specific cells and tissue types. Rainbow trout have been widely utilized for research in carcinogenesis, toxicology, comparative immunology, disease ecology, physiology and nutrition. They are distinctive in having evolved from a relatively recent tetraploid event, resulting in a high incidence of duplicated genes. Natural populations are available and have been well characterized for chromosomal, protein, molecular and quantitative genetic variation. Their ease of culture, and experimental and aquacultural significance has led to the development of clonal lines and the widespread application of transgenic technology to this species. Numerous microsatellites have been isolated and two relatively detailed genetic maps have been developed. Extensive sequencing of expressed sequence tags has begun and four BAC libraries have been developed. The development and analysis of additional genomic sequence data will provide distinctive opportunities to address problems in areas such as evolution of the immune system and duplicate genes.

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