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Development of a Chinook Salmon Sex Identification SNP Assay Based on the Growth Hormone Pseudogene

Von Bargen, J., Smith, C.T., Rueth, J.

Genotypic sex identification assays can provide valuable information about fish populations when phenotypic sex determination is difficult. Here we describe the development of a TaqMan® assay (Ots_SexID) designed to identify the genotypic sex by targeting a region previously examined in the growth hormone pseudogene for winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) collected from the Sacramento River and spawned at the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery. Accuracy of the marker was assessed by comparing genotypic sex assignments for Chinook salmon spawned at Livingston Stone National Fish hatchery in 2012 (n = 84) with phenotypic sex recorded during spawning. Genotypic sex was observed to be concordant with phenotypic sex identified using Ots_SexID in 83/84 individuals, suggesting that the assay could be used to predict phenotypic sex with ∼99% accuracy. To evaluate the utility of the TaqMan assay in other parts of the species’ range, we examined collections from 29 other populations ranging from Alaska to California. Genotypic sex assignments based on the assay were generally concordant with observed phenotypes, but there were some strong exceptions. These results suggest that the new assay will be very useful for Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, but also highlight the importance of thoroughly testing any genotypic sex identification assay before application in a population of interest.

Citation

Von Bargen, J., Smith, C.T., Rueth, J. "Development of a Chinook Salmon Sex Identification SNP Assay Based on the Growth Hormone Pseudogene" Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management (2015): 213–9