Environmental DNA assays for the sister taxa sauger (Sander canadensis) and walleye (Sander vitreus).
ABSTRACT: Sauger (Sander canadensis) and walleye (S. vitreus) are percid fishes that naturally co-occur throughout much of the eastern United States. The native range of sauger extends into the upper Missouri River drainage where walleye did not historically occur, but have been stocked as a sport fish. Sauger populations have been declining due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and competition with non-native species, such as walleye. To effectively manage sauger populations, it is necessary to identify areas where sauger occur, and particularly where they co-occur with walleye. We developed quantitative PCR assays that can detect sauger and walleye DNA in filtered water samples. Each assay efficiently detected low quantities of target DNA and failed to detect DNA of non-target species with which they commonly co-occur.
Project description:RNA sequencing is an effective approach for studying aquatic species yielding both physiological and genomic data. However, its population genetic applications are not well-characterized. We investigate this possible role for RNA sequencing for population genomics in Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, walleye (Sander vitreus). Lake Winnipeg walleye represent the largest component of the second-largest freshwater fishery in Canada. In the present study, large female walleye were sampled via nonlethal gill biopsy over two years at three spawning sites representing a latitudinal gradient in the lake. Genetic variation from sequenced mRNA was analyzed for neutral and adaptive markers to investigate population structure and possible adaptive variation. We find low population divergence (F ST = 0.0095), possible northward gene flow, and outlier loci that vary latitudinally in transcripts associated with cell membrane proteins and cytoskeletal function. These results indicate that Lake Winnipeg walleye may be effectively managed as a single demographically connected metapopulation with contributing subpopulations and suggest genomic differences possibly underlying observed phenotypic differences. Despite its high cost relative to other genotyping methods, RNA sequencing data can yield physiological in addition to genetic information discussed here. We therefore argue that it is useful for addressing diverse molecular questions in the conservation of freshwater species.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Conserving genetic diversity and local adaptations are management priorities for wild populations of exploited species, which increasingly are subject to climate change, habitat loss, and pollution. These constitute growing concerns for the walleye Sander vitreus, an ecologically and economically valuable North American temperate fish with large Laurentian Great Lakes' fisheries. This study compares genetic diversity and divergence patterns across its widespread native range using mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences and nine nuclear DNA microsatellite (?sat) loci, examining historic and contemporary influences. We analyze the genetic and morphological characters of a putative endemic variant- "blue pike" S. v. "glaucus" -described from Lakes Erie and Ontario, which became extinct. Walleye with turquoise-colored mucus also are evaluated, since some have questioned whether these are related to the "blue pike". RESULTS:Walleye populations are distinguished by considerable genetic divergence (mean FST mtDNA?=?0.32?±?0.01, ?sat?=?0.13?±?0.00) and substantial diversity across their range (mean heterozygosity mtDNA?=?0.53?±?0.02, ?sat?=?0.68?±?0.03). Southern populations markedly differ, possessing unique haplotypes and alleles, especially the Ohio/New River population that houses the oldest haplotype and has the most pronounced divergence. Northern formerly glaciated populations have greatest diversity in Lake Erie (mean heterozygosity mtDNA?=?0.79?±?0.00, ?sat?=?0.72?±?0.01). Genetic diversity was much less in the historic Lake Erie samples from 1923-1949 (mean heterozygosity mtDNA?=?0.05?±?0.01, ?sat?=?0.47?±?0.06) than today. The historic "blue pike" had no unique haplotypes/alleles and there is no evidence that it comprised a separate taxon from walleye. Turquoise mucus walleye also show no genetic differentiation from other sympatric walleye and no correspondence to the "blue pike". CONCLUSIONS:Contemporary walleye populations possess high levels of genetic diversity and divergence, despite habitat degradation and exploitation. Genetic and previously published tagging data indicate that natal homing and spawning site philopatry led to population structure. Population patterns were shaped by climate change and drainage connections, with northern ones tracing to post-glacial recolonization. Southerly populations possess unique alleles and may provide an important genetic reservoir. Allelic frequencies of Lake Erie walleye from ~70-90 years ago significantly differed from those today, suggesting population recovery after extensive habitat loss, pollution, and exploitation. The historic "blue pike" is indistinguishable from walleye, indicating that taxonomic designation is not warranted.
Project description:Retroviruses have been detected in most vertebrate species and are etiologic agents of a variety of neoplastic diseases. The study of retroviruses has been instrumental in uncovering the molecular mechanisms responsible for oncogenesis. Retroviruses have been isolated from three neoplastic diseases in fish, two of which affect the dermis and regress naturally coincident with spawning. This feature provides a unique model to study mechanisms of tumor development and regression. Three complex retroviruses, isolated from walleye (Sander vitreus) with dermal sarcoma and epidermal hyperplasia, are the members of the newest retroviral genus, Epsilonretrovirus. Three accessory proteins, encoded by walleye dermal sarcoma virus (WDSV), function in the regulation of host and viral gene expression and cell cycle, alter cell-signaling pathways to promote cell proliferation and block apoptosis, and, finally, induce apoptosis through dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential.
Project description:Walleye (Sander vitreus) is the second most fished freshwater species in Canada. While much sought by anglers, walleye also supports substantial commercial fisheries. To cope with the recent decline of wild walleye populations, fish farmers produce juveniles for lake stocking. However, walleye breeding is particularly tedious, mostly due to high disease susceptibility at larval and juvenile developmental stages. The main threat is the columnaris disease, which is caused by Flavobacterium columnare, an opportunistic bacteria. As F. columnare strains exhibit increasing antibiotic resistance, there is a strong need to develop efficient and sustainable alternative strategies to control columnaris disease. Bacterial probiotics have been shown to mitigate infections either by enhancing host immune response or by inhibiting pathogen growth. Being successfully assessed in many fish/pathogen combinations, we developed a tailored probiotic strategy for walleye to prevent and treat columnaris disease. Thirty-seven endogenous bacterial strains were isolated from healthy walleye's skin and gut, were tested in vitro against F. columnare. Significant antagonistic effect against F. columnare was measured for 2 out of 37 endogenous strains. These two probiotic strains were identified as Pseudomonas fluorescens. The antagonistic effect of these two successful probiotics was further validated in vivo during a 2-month stress trial: groups receiving probiotic treatments showed on average 53.74% survival improvement.
Project description:Fish migration in large freshwater lacustrine systems such as the Laurentian Great Lakes is not well understood. The walleye (Sander vitreus) is an economically and ecologically important native fish species throughout the Great Lakes. In Lake Huron walleye has recently undergone a population expansion as a result of recovery of the primary stock, stemming from changing food web dynamics. During 2011 and 2012, we used acoustic telemetry to document the timing and spatial scale of walleye migration in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. Spawning walleye (n = 199) collected from a tributary of Saginaw Bay were implanted with acoustic tags and their migrations were documented using acoustic receivers (n = 140) deployed throughout U.S. nearshore waters of Lake Huron. Three migration pathways were described using multistate mark-recapture models. Models were evaluated using the Akaike Information Criterion. Fish sex did not influence migratory behavior but did affect migration rate and walleye were detected on all acoustic receiver lines. Most (95%) tagged fish migrated downstream from the riverine tagging and release location to Saginaw Bay, and 37% of these fish emigrated from Saginaw Bay into Lake Huron. Remarkably, 8% of walleye that emigrated from Saginaw Bay were detected at the acoustic receiver line located farthest from the release location more than 350 km away. Most (64%) walleye returned to the Saginaw River in 2012, presumably for spawning. Our findings reveal that fish from this stock use virtually the entirety of U.S. nearshore waters of Lake Huron.
Project description:We present here the whole-genome sequence of Shewanella sp. WE21, an unusual omega-3 fatty acid-producing bacterium isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of the freshwater fish Sander vitreus (walleye). This genome contains a number of unique, large genomic islands with genes not present in other Shewanella bacteria.
Project description:The walleye (Sander vitreus) is a golden yellow fish that inhabits the Northern American lakes. The recent sightings of the blue walleye and the correlation of its sighting to possible increased UV radiation have been proposed earlier. The underlying molecular basis of its adaptation to increased UV radiation is the presence of a protein (Sandercyanin)-ligand complex in the mucus of walleyes. Degradation of heme by UV radiation results in the formation of Biliverdin IX? (BLA), the chromophore bound to Sandercyanin. We show that Sandercyanin is a monomeric protein that forms stable homotetramers on addition of BLA to the protein. A structure of the Sandercyanin-BLA complex, purified from the fish mucus, reveals a glycosylated protein with a lipocalin fold. This protein-ligand complex absorbs light in the UV region (?max of 375 nm) and upon excitation at this wavelength emits in the red region (?max of 675 nm). Unlike all other known biliverdin-bound fluorescent proteins, the chromophore is noncovalently bound to the protein. We provide here a molecular rationale for the observed spectral properties of Sandercyanin.
Project description:The pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) is a fresh and brackish water Percid fish natively inhabiting the northern hemisphere. This species is emerging as a promising candidate for intensive aquaculture production in Europe. Specific traits like cannibalism, growth rate and meat quality require genomics based understanding, for an optimal husbandry and domestication process. Still, the aquaculture community is lacking an annotated genome sequence to facilitate genome-wide studies on pikeperch. Here, we report the first highly contiguous draft genome assembly of Sander lucioperca. In total, 413 and 66 giga base pairs of DNA sequencing raw data were generated with the Illumina platform and PacBio Sequel System, respectively. The PacBio data were assembled into a final assembly size of ~900 Mb covering 89% of the 1,014 Mb estimated genome size. The draft genome consisted of 1966 contigs ordered into 1,313 scaffolds. The contig and scaffold N50 lengths are 3.0 Mb and 4.9 Mb, respectively. The identified repetitive structures accounted for 39% of the genome. We utilized homologies to other ray-finned fishes, and ab initio gene prediction methods to predict 21,249 protein-coding genes in the Sander lucioperca genome, of which 88% were functionally annotated by either sequence homology or protein domains and signatures search. The assembled genome spans 97.6% and 96.3% of Vertebrate and Actinopterygii single-copy orthologs, respectively. The outstanding mapping rate (99.9%) of genomic PE-reads on the assembly suggests an accurate and nearly complete genome reconstruction. This draft genome sequence is the first genomic resource for this promising aquaculture species. It will provide an impetus for genomic-based breeding studies targeting phenotypic and performance traits of captive pikeperch.