Evaluating the Performance of Captive Breeding Techniques for Conservation Hatcheries: A Case Study of the Delta Smelt Captive Breeding Program

TitleEvaluating the Performance of Captive Breeding Techniques for Conservation Hatcheries: A Case Study of the Delta Smelt Captive Breeding Program
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFisch KM, Ivy JA, Burton RS, May B
JournalJournal of Heredity
Volume104
Pagination92-104
Date Published2013/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-1503
Accession NumberWOS:000312885900010
Keywordsbroodstock management; effective population-size; estuary; genetic diversity; genetic management; Hypomesus transpacificus; linkage disequilibrium; mean kinship; microsatellite loci; Microsatellites; molecular markers; pairwise relatedness; pedigree reconstruction; Relatedness; run chinook salmon; selection
Abstract

The delta smelt, an endangered fish species endemic to the San Francisco Bay-Delta, California, United States, was recently brought into captivity for species preservation. This study retrospectively evaluates the implementation of a genetic management plan for the captive delta smelt population. The captive genetic management plan entails tagging fish, molecular data collection, pedigree reconstruction, relatedness estimation, and recommending fish crosses annually in an effort to minimize the average coancestry in the population and limit inbreeding. We employed 12 microsatellite DNA markers to examine temporal genetic diversity in consecutive, discrete generations to determine the effects of intensive genetic management on the population and to quantify the amount of wild genetic diversity present within each captive generation. Wild fish are incorporated into the captive population each generation to minimize genetic drift, and 91% of the original founders are still represented in the F-3 generation. The average mean kinship in the third generation in captivity was 0.0035. There was no evidence of significant genetic divergence of the captive population from the wild population. The results of this study yield management insights into the practical application of genetic management plans for captive populations and conservation hatcheries, in an attempt to preserve the genetic integrity of endangered species.

DOI10.1093/jhered/ess084
Short TitleJ. Hered.
Student Publication: 
No