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Biol Lett. 2009 Oct 23;5(5):656-9. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0214. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Admixture analysis of stocked brown trout populations using mapped microsatellite DNA markers: indigenous trout persist in introgressed populations.

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Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Section for Population Genetics, Vejlsøvej 39, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark.


Admixture between wild and captive populations is an increasing concern in conservation biology. Understanding the extent of admixture and the processes involved requires identification of admixed and non-admixed individuals. This can be achieved by statistical methods employing Bayesian clustering, but resolution is low if genetic differentiation is weak. Here, we analyse stocked brown trout populations represented by historical (1943-1956) and contemporary (2000s) samples, where genetic differentiation between wild populations and stocked trout is weak (pairwise F(ST) of 0.047 and 0.053). By analysing a high number of microsatellite DNA markers (50) and making use of linkage map information, we achieve clear identification of admixed and non-admixed trout. Moreover, despite strong population-level admixture by hatchery strain trout in one of the populations (70.8%), non-admixed individuals nevertheless persist (7 out of 53 individuals). These remnants of the indigenous population are characterized by later spawning time than the majority of the admixed individuals. We hypothesize that isolation by time mediated by spawning time differences between wild and hatchery strain trout is a major factor rescuing a part of the indigenous population from introgression.

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