Project description:Elevated river water temperature in the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada, has been associated with enhanced mortality of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) during their upriver migration to spawning grounds. We undertook a study to assess the effects of elevated water temperatures on the gill transcriptome and blood plasma variables in wild-caught sockeye salmon. Naturally migrating sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River were collected and held at ecologically relevant temperatures of 14°C and 19°C for seven days, a period representing a significant portion of their upstream migration. After seven days, sockeye salmon held at 19°C stimulated heat shock response genes as well as many genes associated with an immune response when compared with fish held at 14°C. Additionally, fish at 19°C had elevated plasma chloride and lactate, suggestive of a disturbance in osmoregulatory homeostasis and a stress response detectable in the blood plasma. Fish that died prematurely over the course of the holding study were compared with time-matched surviving fish; the former fish were characterized by an upregulation of several transcription factors associated with apoptosis and downregulation of genes involved in immune function and antioxidant activity. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC1) was the most significantly upregulated gene in dying salmon, which suggests an association with cellular apoptosis. We hypothesize that the observed decrease in plasma ions and increases in plasma cortisol that occur in dying fish may be linked to the increase in ODC1. By highlighting these underlying physiological mechanisms, this study enhances our understanding of the processes involved in premature mortality and temperature stress in Pacific salmon during migration to spawning grounds.
Project description:Mechanisms underlying adaptive evolution can best be explored using paired populations displaying similar phenotypic divergence, illuminating the genomic changes associated with specific life history traits. Here, we used paired migratory [anadromous vs. resident (kokanee)] and reproductive [shore- vs. stream-spawning] ecotypes of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) sampled from seven lakes and two rivers spanning three catchments (Columbia, Fraser, and Skeena) in British Columbia, Canada to investigate the patterns and processes underlying their divergence. Restriction-site associated DNA sequencing was used to genotype this sampling at 7,347 single nucleotide polymorphisms, 334 of which were identified as outlier loci and candidates for divergent selection within at least one ecotype comparison. Sixty-eight of these outliers were present in two or more comparisons, with 33 detected across multiple catchments. Of particular note, one locus was detected as the most significant outlier between shore and stream-spawning ecotypes in multiple comparisons and across catchments (Columbia, Fraser, and Snake). We also detected several genomic islands of divergence, some shared among comparisons, potentially showing linked signals of differential selection. The single nucleotide polymorphisms and genomic regions identified in our study offer a range of mechanistic hypotheses associated with the genetic basis of O. nerka life history variation and provide novel tools for informing fisheries management.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Disentangling the roles of geography and ecology driving population divergence and distinguishing adaptive from neutral evolution at the molecular level have been common goals among evolutionary and conservation biologists. Using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) multilocus genotypes for 31 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) populations from the Kvichak River, Alaska, we assessed the relative roles of geography (discrete boundaries or continuous distance) and ecology (spawning habitat and timing) driving genetic divergence in this species at varying spatial scales within the drainage. We also evaluated two outlier detection methods to characterize candidate SNPs responding to environmental selection, emphasizing which mechanism(s) may maintain the genetic variation of outlier loci. RESULTS: For the entire drainage, Mantel tests suggested a greater role of geographic distance on population divergence than differences in spawn timing when each variable was correlated with pairwise genetic distances. Clustering and hierarchical analyses of molecular variance indicated that the largest genetic differentiation occurred between populations from distinct lakes or subdrainages. Within one population-rich lake, however, Mantel tests suggested a greater role of spawn timing than geographic distance on population divergence when each variable was correlated with pairwise genetic distances. Variable spawn timing among populations was linked to specific spawning habitats as revealed by principal coordinate analyses. We additionally identified two outlier SNPs located in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II that appeared robust to violations of demographic assumptions from an initial pool of eight candidates for selection. CONCLUSIONS: First, our results suggest that geography and ecology have influenced genetic divergence between Alaskan sockeye salmon populations in a hierarchical manner depending on the spatial scale. Second, we found consistent evidence for diversifying selection in two loci located in the MHC class II by means of outlier detection methods; yet, alternative scenarios for the evolution of these loci were also evaluated. Both conclusions argue that historical contingency and contemporary adaptation have likely driven differentiation between Kvichak River sockeye salmon populations, as revealed by a suite of SNPs. Our findings highlight the need for conservation of complex population structure, because it provides resilience in the face of environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic.
Project description:In 2015, the Pacific marine heat wave, low river flows, and record high water temperatures in the Columbia River Basin contributed to a near-complete failure of the adult migration of endangered Snake River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka, NOAA Fisheries 2016). These extreme weather events may become the new normal due to anthropogenic climate change, with catastrophic consequences for endangered species. Existing anthropogenic pressures may amplify vulnerability to climate change, but these potential synergies have rarely been quantified. We examined factors affecting survival of endangered sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) and threatened Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) as they migrated upstream through eight dams and reservoirs to spawning areas in the Snake River Basin. Our extensive database included histories of 17,279 individual fish that migrated since 2004. A comparison between conditions in 2015 and daily temperatures and flows in a regulated basin forced by output from global climate models showed that 2015 did have many characteristics of projected future mean conditions. To evaluate potential salmon responses, we modeled migration timing and apparent survival under historical and future climate scenarios (2040s). For Chinook salmon, adult survival from the first dam encountered to spawning grounds dropped by 4-15%, depending on the climate scenario. For sockeye, survival dropped by ~80% from their already low levels. Through sensitivity analyses, we observed that the adult sockeye migration would need to shift more than 2 weeks earlier than predicted to maintain survival rates typical of those seen during 2008-2017. Overall, the greater impacts of climate change on adult sockeye compared with adult Chinook salmon reflected differences in life history and environmental sensitivities, which were compounded for sockeye by larger effect sizes from other anthropogenic factors. Compared with Chinook, sockeye was more negatively affected by a history of juvenile transportation and by similar temperatures and flows. The largest changes in temperature and flow were projected to be upstream from the hydrosystem, where direct mitigation through hydrosystem management is not an option. Unfortunately, Snake River sockeye have likely lost much of their adaptive capacity with the loss of the wild population. Further work exploring habitat restoration or additional mitigation actions is urgently needed.
Project description:While co-infections are common in both wild and cultured fish, knowledge of the interactive effects of multiple pathogens on host physiology, gene expression and immune response is limited. To evaluate the impact of co-infection on host survival, physiology and gene expression, sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka smolts were infected with the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (V-/SL+), infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV; V+/SL-), both (V+/SL+), or neither (V-/SL-). Survival in the V+/SL+ group was significantly lower than the V-/SL- and V-/SL+ groups (p = 0.024). Co-infected salmon had elevated osmoregulatory indicators and lowered haematocrit values as compared to the uninfected control. Expression of 12 genes associated with the host immune response was analysed in anterior kidney and skin. The only evidence of L. salmonis-induced modulation of the host antiviral response was down-regulation of mhc I although the possibility of modulation cannot be ruled out for mx-1 and rsad2. Co-infection did not influence the expression of genes associated with the host response to L. salmonis. Therefore, we conclude that the reduced survival in co-infected sockeye salmon resulted from the osmoregulatory consequences of the sea lice infections which were amplified due to infection with IHNV.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Concern about the decline of wild salmon has attracted the attention of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN applies quantitative criteria to assess risk of extinction and publishes its results on the Red List of Threatened Species. However, the focus is on the species level and thus may fail to show the risk to populations. The IUCN has adapted their criteria to apply to populations but there exist few examples of this type of assessment. We assessed the status of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka as a model for application of the IUCN population-level assessments and to provide the first global assessment of the status of an anadromous Pacific salmon.<h4>Methods/principal findings</h4>We found from demographic data that the sockeye salmon species is not presently at risk of extinction. We identified 98 independent populations with varying levels of risk within the species' range. Of these, 5 (5%) are already extinct. We analyzed the risk for 62 out of 93 extant populations (67%) and found that 17 of these (27%) are at risk of extinction. The greatest number and concentration of extinct and threatened populations is in the southern part of the North American range, primarily due to overfishing, freshwater habitat loss, dams, hatcheries, and changing ocean conditions.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Although sockeye salmon are not at risk at the species-level, about one-third of the populations that we analyzed are at risk or already extinct. Without an understanding of risk to biodiversity at the level of populations, the biodiversity loss in salmon would be greatly underrepresented on the Red List. We urge government, conservation organizations, scientists and the public to recognize this limitation of the Red List. We also urge recognition that about one-third of sockeye salmon global population diversity is at risk of extinction or already extinct.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There are a growing number of genomes sequenced with tentative functions assigned to a large proportion of the individual genes. Model organisms in laboratory settings form the basis for the assignment of gene function, and the ecological context of gene function is lacking. This work addresses this shortcoming by investigating expressed genes of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) muscle tissue. We compared morphology and gene expression in natural juvenile sockeye populations related to river and lake habitats. Based on previously documented divergent morphology, feeding strategy, and predation in association with these distinct environments, we expect that burst swimming is favored in riverine population and continuous swimming is favored in lake-type population. In turn we predict that morphology and expressed genes promote burst swimming in riverine sockeye and continuous swimming in lake-type sockeye. RESULTS:We found the riverine sockeye population had deep, robust bodies and lake-type had shallow, streamlined bodies. Gene expression patterns were measured using a 16 k microarray, discovering 141 genes with significant differential expression. Overall, the identity and function of these genes was consistent with our hypothesis. In addition, Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses with a larger set of differentially expressed genes found the "biosynthesis" category enriched for the riverine population and the "metabolism" category enriched for the lake-type population. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides a framework for understanding sockeye life history from a transcriptomic perspective and a starting point for more extensive, targeted studies determining the ecological context of genes.
Project description:Conservation of life history variation is an important consideration for many species with trade-offs in migratory characteristics. Many salmonid species exhibit both resident and migratory strategies that capitalize on benefits in freshwater and marine environments. In this study, we investigated genomic signatures for migratory life history in collections of resident and anadromous Oncorhynchus nerka (Kokanee and Sockeye Salmon, respectively) from two lake systems, using ~2,600 SNPs from restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq). Differing demographic histories were evident in the two systems where one pair was significantly differentiated (Redfish Lake, FST = 0.091 [95% confidence interval: 0.087 to 0.095]) but the other pair was not (Alturas Lake, FST = -0.007 [-0.008 to -0.006]). Outlier and association analyses identified several candidate markers in each population pair, but there was limited evidence for parallel signatures of genomic variation associated with migration. Despite lack of evidence for consistent markers associated with migratory life history in this species, candidate markers were mapped to functional genes and provide evidence for adaptive genetic variation within each lake system. Life history variation has been maintained in these nearly extirpated populations of O. nerka, and conservation efforts to preserve this diversity are important for long-term resiliency of this species.
Project description:Study of parallel (or convergent) phenotypic evolution can provide important insights into processes driving sympatric, ecologically-mediated divergence and speciation, as ecotype pairs may provide a biological replicate of the underlying signals and mechanisms. Here, we provide evidence for a selective sweep creating an island of divergence associated with reproductive behavior in sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), identifying a series of linked single nucleotide polymorphisms across a ~22,733 basepair region spanning the leucine-rich repeat-containing protein 9 gene exhibiting signatures of divergent selection associated with stream- and shore-spawning in both anadromous and resident forms across their pan-Pacific distribution. This divergence likely occurred ~3.8 Mya (95%?HPD?=?2.1-6.03 Mya), after sockeye separated from pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon, but prior to the Pleistocene glaciations. Our results suggest recurrent evolution of reproductive ecotypes across the native range of O. nerka is at least partially associated with divergent selection of pre-existing genetic variation within or linked to this region. As sockeye salmon are unique among Pacific salmonids in their flexibility to spawn in lake-shore benthic environments, this region provides great promise for continued investigation of the genomic basis of O. nerka life history evolution, and, more broadly, for increasing our understanding of the heritable basis of adaptation of complex traits in novel environments.
Project description:Understanding the genetic architecture of phenotypic traits can provide important information about the mechanisms and genomic regions involved in local adaptation and speciation. Here, we used genotyping-by-sequencing and a combination of previously published and newly generated data to construct sex-specific linkage maps for sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). We then used the denser female linkage map to conduct quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for 4 phenotypic traits in 3 families. The female linkage map consisted of 6322 loci distributed across 29 linkage groups and was 4082 cM long, and the male map contained 2179 loci found on 28 linkage groups and was 2291 cM long. We found 26 QTL: 6 for thermotolerance, 5 for length, 9 for weight, and 6 for condition factor. QTL were distributed nonrandomly across the genome and were often found in hotspots containing multiple QTL for a variety of phenotypic traits. These hotspots may represent adaptively important regions and are excellent candidates for future research. Comparing our results with studies in other salmonids revealed several regions with overlapping QTL for the same phenotypic trait, indicating these regions may be adaptively important across multiple species. Altogether, our study demonstrates the utility of genomic data for investigating the genetic basis of important phenotypic traits. Additionally, the linkage map created here will enable future research on the genetic basis of phenotypic traits in salmon.