Monster Seminar Jam - Molecular ecology of Atlantic salmon: dissecting fitness determinants
Dr. Dany Garant, Assistant Research Professor, Biology, University of Sherbrooke
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) exhibit some of the greatest within-population variability in size and age at maturity of all vertebrates. They also have complex mating systems with many different reproductive tactics. These tactics are used by both sexes and are usually linked to different phenotypes. However, until recently it was unclear what were the major factors influencing the fitness of these phenotypes in the wild. Here I will assess the determinants of fitness in this species through the application of molecular ecology and quantitative genetics techniques. I will specifically focus on the factors influencing reproductive success, reproductive tactics and mate choice in salmon. More specifically, I will first present reproductive success estimates for both sexes and compare reproductive success between alternative reproductive tactics associated with distinct phenotypes in anadromous males. I will also document the effects of both the quality of the rearing environment and of the paternal reproductive tactic on juvenile growth and its heritability. I will then explore both the effects of multiple mating and of within-offspring genetic diversity on the resulting reproductive success of adults and present a test of the good genes as heterozygosity hypothesis of mate choice in this species. I will underline the importance of taking into account the environment and the individual characteristics when aiming to assess the fitness determinants in this species.
Date and Time:
September 27, 2007,
10:30 am - 12:30 pm