Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (LongSAGE) of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) brain tissue.
ABSTRACT: Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) display the greatest variability of return times to freshwater of all Pacific salmon. Populations return to freshwater for spawning at many different times of year, resulting in segregated populations that may use differing molecular pathways for these large behavioral and physiological differences. Using a population of Chinook from California’s Central Valley, we sought to generate novel expressed sequences using Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (LongSAGE). We constructed three LongSAGE libraries from brains of samples caught in the spring and fall in freshwater and from the ocean. Using cDNA libraries from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), we were able to assign 59% of putatively differentially expressed tags to genes. Additionally, we tested the expression levels of seven genes, indicated by LongSAGE to be putatively differentially expressed between the fall and spring, and found none significantly differentially expressed. This study is the first to apply LongSAGE to salmon and provides a framework for conducting future research on gene expression differences between Chinook salmon of different populations, as well as underlying mechanisms of differing physiology and behavior. Keywords: seasonal difference Overall design: Single individuals were used to construct each LongSAGE library. The fall, spring and ocean samples were then compared between each other and examined for differences in the number of tags observed.
Project description:Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) display the greatest variability of return times to freshwater of all Pacific salmon. Populations return to freshwater for spawning at many different times of year, resulting in segregated populations that may use differing molecular pathways for these large behavioral and physiological differences. Using a population of Chinook from California’s Central Valley, we sought to generate novel expressed sequences using Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (LongSAGE). We constructed three LongSAGE libraries from brains of samples caught in the spring and fall in freshwater and from the ocean. Using cDNA libraries from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), we were able to assign 59% of putatively differentially expressed tags to genes. Additionally, we tested the expression levels of seven genes, indicated by LongSAGE to be putatively differentially expressed between the fall and spring, and found none significantly differentially expressed. This study is the first to apply LongSAGE to salmon and provides a framework for conducting future research on gene expression differences between Chinook salmon of different populations, as well as underlying mechanisms of differing physiology and behavior. Keywords: seasonal difference Single individuals were used to construct each LongSAGE library. The fall, spring and ocean samples were then compared between each other and examined for differences in the number of tags observed.
Project description:Neutral genetic markers are routinely used to define distinct units within species that warrant discrete management. Human-induced changes to gene flow however may reduce the power of such an approach. We tested the efficiency of adaptive versus neutral genetic markers in differentiating temporally divergent migratory runs of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) amid high gene flow owing to artificial propagation and habitat alteration. We compared seven putative migration timing genes to ten microsatellite loci in delineating three migratory groups of Chinook in the Feather River, CA: offspring of fall-run hatchery broodstock that returned as adults to freshwater in fall (fall run), spring-run offspring that returned in spring (spring run), and fall-run offspring that returned in spring (FRS). We found evidence for significant differentiation between the fall and federally listed threatened spring groups based on divergence at three circadian clock genes (OtsClock1b, OmyFbxw11, and Omy1009UW), but not neutral markers. We thus demonstrate the importance of genetic marker choice in resolving complex life history types. These findings directly impact conservation management strategies and add to previous evidence from Pacific and Atlantic salmon indicating that circadian clock genes influence migration timing.
Project description:Understanding factors influencing survival of Pacific salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) is essential to species conservation, because drivers of mortality can vary over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Although recent studies have evaluated the effects of climate, habitat quality, or resource management (e.g., hatchery operations) on salmonid recruitment and survival, a failure to look at multiple factors simultaneously leaves open questions about the relative importance of different factors. We analyzed the relationship between ten factors and survival (1980-2007) of four populations of salmonids with distinct life histories from two adjacent watersheds (Salmon and Scott rivers) in the Klamath River basin, California. The factors were ocean abundance, ocean harvest, hatchery releases, hatchery returns, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Pacific Gyre Oscillation, El Niño Southern Oscillation, snow depth, flow, and watershed disturbance. Permutation tests and linear mixed-effects models tested effects of factors on survival of each taxon. Potential factors affecting survival differed among taxa and between locations. Fall Chinook salmon O. tshawytscha survival trends appeared to be driven partially or entirely by hatchery practices. Trends in three taxa (Salmon River spring Chinook salmon, Scott River fall Chinook salmon; Salmon River summer steelhead trout O. mykiss) were also likely driven by factors subject to climatic forcing (ocean abundance, summer flow). Our findings underscore the importance of multiple factors in simultaneously driving population trends in widespread species such as anadromous salmonids. They also show that the suite of factors may differ among different taxa in the same location as well as among populations of the same taxa in different watersheds. In the Klamath basin, hatchery practices need to be reevaluated to protect wild salmonids.
Project description:Cross-boundary nutrient inputs can enhance and sustain populations of organisms in nutrient-poor recipient ecosystems. For example, Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) can deliver large amounts of marine-derived nutrients to freshwater ecosystems through their eggs, excretion, or carcasses. This has led to the question of whether nutrients from one generation of salmon can benefit juvenile salmon from subsequent generations. In a study of 12 streams on the central coast of British Columbia, we found that the abundance of juvenile coho salmon was most closely correlated with the abundance of adult pink salmon from previous years. There was a secondary role for adult chum salmon and watershed size, followed by other physical characteristics of streams. Most of the coho sampled emerged in the spring, and had little to no direct contact with spawning salmon nutrients at the time of sampling in the summer and fall. A combination of techniques suggest that subsidies from spawning salmon can have a strong, positive, time-delayed influence on the productivity of salmon-bearing streams through indirect effects from previous spawning events. This is the first study on the impacts of nutrients from naturally-occurring spawning salmon on juvenile population abundance of other salmon species.
Project description:The ecosystems supporting Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are changing rapidly as a result of climate change and habitat alteration. Understanding how-and how consistently-salmon populations respond to changes at regional and watershed scales has major implications for fisheries management and habitat conservation. Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) populations across Alaska have declined over the past decade, resulting in fisheries closures and prolonged impacts to local communities. These declines are associated with large-scale climate drivers, but uncertainty remains about the role of local conditions (e.g., precipitation, streamflow, and stream temperature) that vary among the watersheds where salmon spawn and rear. We estimated the effects of these and other environmental indicators on the productivity of 15 Chinook salmon populations in the Cook Inlet basin, southcentral Alaska, using a hierarchical Bayesian stock-recruitment model. Salmon spawning during 2003-2007 produced 57% fewer recruits than the previous long-term average, leading to declines in adult returns beginning in 2008. These declines were explained in part by density dependence, with reduced population productivity following years of high spawning abundance. Across all populations, productivity declined with increased precipitation during the fall spawning and early incubation period and increased with above-average precipitation during juvenile rearing. Above-average stream temperatures during spawning and rearing had variable effects, with negative relationships in many warmer streams and positive relationships in some colder streams. Productivity was also associated with regional indices of streamflow and ocean conditions, with high variability among populations. The cumulative effects of adverse conditions in freshwater, including high spawning abundance, heavy fall rains, and hot, dry summers may have contributed to the recent population declines across the region. Identifying both coherent and differential responses to environmental change underscores the importance of targeted, watershed-specific monitoring and conservation efforts for maintaining resilient salmon runs in a warming world.
Project description:Early life is believed to be a critical stage for determining survivorship in all fish. Many studies have suggested that environmental conditions in the ocean determine the fry-to-adult survival rate of Pacific salmon but few investigations have been conducted on the importance of the brief freshwater period during the seaward migration on overall survivorship. Here, we found that most of the variation in survivorship of hatchery-reared chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) was explained by river temperature during the fry stage, despite spending most of their life (approx. 99%) at sea. After the annual release of a constant number of fry, the number of fry moving through the river at a downstream location varied greatly. The number of returning adults was positively correlated with the number of fry moving downstream. This result suggests that most salmon mortality occurred prior to ocean entry, and that short-term mortality in the river is a key factor determining major fluctuations in total mortality. Although marine mortality is often invoked in the literature as a key factor determining total mortality of chum salmon, attention should also be paid to freshwater mortality to understand the population dynamics of this species.
Project description:The trophic habits, size and condition of yearling Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) caught early in their marine residence were examined during 19 survey years (1981-1985; 1998-2011). Juvenile salmon consumed distinct highly piscivorous diets in cold and warm ocean regimes with major differences between ocean regimes driven by changes in consumption of juvenile rockfishes, followed by several other fish prey, adult euphausiids and decapod larvae. Notable, Chinook salmon consumed 30% more food in the warm versus cold ocean regime in both May and June. Additionally, there were about 30% fewer empty stomachs in the warm ocean regime in May, and 10% fewer in warm June periods. The total prey energy density consumed during the warmer ocean regime was also significantly higher than in cold. Chinook salmon had lower condition factor and were smaller in fork length during the warm ocean regime, and were longer and heavier for their size during the cold ocean regime. The significant increase in foraging during the warm ocean regime occurred concurrently with lower available prey biomass. Adult return rates of juvenile Chinook salmon that entered the ocean during a warm ocean regime were lower. Notably, our long term data set contradicts the long held assertion that juvenile salmon eat less in a warm ocean regime when low growth and survival is observed, and when available prey are reduced. Comparing diet changes between decades under variable ocean conditions may assist us in understanding the effects of projected warming ocean regimes on juvenile Chinook salmon and their survival in the ocean environment. Bioenergetically, the salmon appear to require more food resources during warm ocean regimes.
Project description:To investigate reasons for the decline of an endangered population of coho salmon (O. kisutch), 190 smolts were acoustically tagged during three consecutive years and their movements and survival were estimated using the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking project (POST) array. Median travel times of the Thompson River coho salmon smolts to the lower Fraser River sub-array were 16, 12 and 10 days during 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively. Few smolts were recorded on marine arrays. Freshwater survival rates of the tagged smolts during their downstream migration were 0.0-5.6% (0.0-9.0% s.e.) in 2004, 7.0% (6.2% s.e.) in 2005, and 50.9% (18.6% s.e.) in 2006. Overall smolt-to-adult return rates exhibited a similar pattern, which suggests that low freshwater survival rates of out-migrating smolts may be a primary reason for the poor conservation status of this endangered coho salmon population.
Project description:Multiple dam passage during seaward migration is thought to reduce the subsequent survival of Snake River Chinook salmon. This hypothesis developed because juvenile Chinook salmon from the Snake River, the Columbia River's largest tributary, migrate >700 km through eight hydropower dams and have lower adult return rates than downstream populations that migrate through only 3 or 4 dams. Using a large-scale telemetry array, we tested whether survival of hatchery-reared juvenile Snake River spring Chinook salmon is reduced in the estuary and coastal ocean relative to a downstream, hatchery-reared population from the Yakima River. During the initial 750-km, 1-mo-long migration through the estuary and coastal ocean, we found no evidence of differential survival; therefore, poorer adult returns of Snake River Chinook may develop far from the Columbia River. Thus, hydrosystem mitigation efforts may be ineffective if differential mortality rates develop in the North Pacific Ocean for reasons unrelated to dam passage.
Project description:The average sizes of Pacific salmon have declined in some areas in the Northeast Pacific over the past few decades, but the extent and geographic distribution of these declines in Alaska is uncertain. Here, we used regression analyses to quantify decadal trends in length and age at maturity in ten datasets from commercial harvests, weirs, and spawner abundance surveys of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha throughout Alaska. We found that on average these fish have become smaller over the past 30 years (~6 generations), because of a decline in the predominant age at maturity and because of a decrease in age-specific length. The proportion of older and larger 4-ocean age fish in the population declined significantly (P < 0.05) in all stocks examined by return year or brood year. Our analyses also indicated that the age-specific lengths of 4-ocean fish (9 of 10 stocks) and of 3-ocean fish (5 of 10 stocks) have declined significantly (P < 0.05). Size-selective harvest may be driving earlier maturation and declines in size, but the evidence is not conclusive, and additional factors, such as ocean conditions or competitive interactions with other species of salmon, may also be responsible. Regardless of the cause, these wide-spread phenotypic shifts influence fecundity and population abundance, and ultimately may put populations and associated fisheries at risk of decline.