Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Pitcher, Trevor (Biological Sciences)

Keywords

Biology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Inbreeding, the mating between relatives, has been reported to lead to inbreeding depression, which can influence male sperm quality. This thesis examined the effects of inbreeding on sperm quality in a captive population of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). First, I investigated seasonal variation in sperm quality (velocity, motility, linearity, longevity and density) across the natural spawning season of the species in order to determine when peak sperm quality occurs. My findings suggest that sperm quality tends to peak throughout the middle of the spawning season. Using this data, I then examined the effects of inbreeding depression on sperm quality. I found no significant difference in sperm traits between inbred (full sibling offspring), moderately inbred (maternal and paternal half sibling offspring) and outbred (unrelated offspring) males. Together, these results have implications for the optimization of fertilization protocols in hatchery populations as well as provide insight into experimental inbreeding in lake trout populations.

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