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Selection against individuals from genetic introgression of escaped farmed salmon in a natural population of Atlantic salmon

Citation

Wacker, Sebastian et al. (2021), Selection against individuals from genetic introgression of escaped farmed salmon in a natural population of Atlantic salmon, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9kd51c5gm

Abstract

The viability of wild Atlantic salmon populations is threatened by genetic introgression from escaped farmed salmon. Farmed Atlantic salmon are genetically improved for important commercial traits and a life in captivity but are poorly adapted to the natural environment. The rate of geneflow from escaped farmed to wild salmon depends on their spawning success and on offspring survival at various life-stages. We here investigate relative survival of introgressed juvenile Atlantic salmon (parr) in a river in northern Norway. The studied population has experienced genetic introgression from farmed salmon for about four generations (20 years). We followed two cohorts of parr from the year of hatching (0+) to the age of two years (2+). Farmed genetic introgression was quantified at the individual level and on a continuous scale using diagnostic SNPs. Population-level genetic introgression decreased from 0+ to 2+ by 64% (2011 cohort) and 37% (2013 cohort) . This change was driven by a 70% (2011 cohort) and 49% (2013 cohort) lower survival from age 0+ to 2+ in introgressed parr compared to parr of wild origin. Our observations show that there is natural selection against genetic introgression with a potential cost of lower productivity.The viability of wild Atlantic salmon populations is threatened by genetic introgression from escaped farmed salmon. Farmed Atlantic salmon are genetically improved for important commercial traits and a life in captivity but are poorly adapted to the natural environment. The rate of geneflow from escaped farmed to wild salmon depends on their spawning success and on offspring survival at various life-stages. We here investigate relative survival of introgressed juvenile Atlantic salmon (parr) in a river in northern Norway. The studied population has experienced genetic introgression from farmed salmon for about four generations (20 years). We followed two cohorts of parr from the year of hatching (0+) to the age of two years (2+). Farmed genetic introgression was quantified at the individual level and on a continuous scale using diagnostic SNPs. Population-level genetic introgression decreased from 0+ to 2+ by 64% (2011 cohort) and 37% (2013 cohort) . This change was driven by a 70% (2011 cohort) and 49% (2013 cohort) lower survival from age 0+ to 2+ in introgressed parr compared to parr of wild origin. Our observations show that there is natural selection against genetic introgression with a potential cost of lower productivity.

Methods

See paper for Methods.

Usage Notes

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Funding

Miljødirektoratet

Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries

Grieg Seafood Finnmark AS

Cermaq Norway AS Region Finnmark

NRS Farming AS Region Finnmark

Statkraft AS

Norsk institutt for naturforskning