Genetic effects on phenotypic traits throughout ontogeny in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
While genetic effects on offspring phenotypic traits are well studied in fish, examining all genetic components to variation in traits across developmental stages has been rarely explored. Using a full factorial breeding design, I investigated additive and nonadditive genetic effects and maternal effects on offspring length, survival and swimming ability throughout ontogeny in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawhytscha), a species with a nonresource-based mating system. I also used existing `high-survival' and `low-survival' lines of Chinook salmon to determine if these two lines still show differences in survival and length, and if the two lines show differences in swimming ability. Genetic variation was found for offspring length, survival, and swimming ability, where results varied depending on the phenotypic trait examined and developmental stage. Future research should continue to follow the genetic architecture of phenotypic traits within species throughout ontogeny, and could compare populations to further improve conservation efforts of this species.