Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, exhibit alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) where males exist in two phenotypes: large “hooknose” males and smaller “jacks” that reach sexual maturity after only 1 year in seawater. The mechanisms that determine “jacking rate”—the rate at which males precociously sexually mature—are known to involve both genetics and differential growth rates, where individuals that become jacks exhibit higher growth earlier in life. The additive genetic components have been studied and it is known that jack sires produce significantly more jack offspring than hooknose sires, and vice versa. The current study was the first to investigate both additive and non-additive genetic components underlying jacking through the use of a full-factorial breeding design using all hooknose sires. The effect of dams and sires descendant from a marker-assisted broodstock program that identified “high performance” and “low performance” lines using growth- and survival-related gene markers was also studied. Finally, the relative growth of jack, hooknose, and female offspring was examined. No significant dam, sire, or interaction effects were observed in this study, and the maternal, additive, and non-additive components underlying jacking were small. Differences in jacking rates in this study were determined by dam performance line, where dams that originated from the low performance line produced significantly more jacks. Jack offspring in this study had a significantly larger body size than both hooknose males and females starting 1 year post-fertilization. This study provides novel information regarding the genetic architecture underlying ARTs in Chinook salmon that could have implications for the aquaculture industry, where jacks are not favoured due to their small body size and poor flesh quality.
Forest, Adriana R.; Semeniuk, Christina A.D.; Heath, Daniel D.; and Pitcher, Trevor E., "Additive and non-additive genetic components of the jack male life history in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)" (2016). Genetica, 144, 4, 477-485.
Available for download on Sunday, January 01, 2119