Are there differences in larval and juvenile gene expression between hatchery and wild coregonids?

Contributing Authors

Wendylee Stott (DFO,, Trevor Krabbenhoft (University at Buffalo)

Project Description

Management agencies are investigating best practices for coregonid (C. artedi and C. hoyi) culture, stocking, and broodstock development. However, before large scale production can begin, decisions about the sources of broodstock, culture practices, and stocking rates must be made. The considerable phenotypic plasticity displayed by coregonids in the Great Lakes presents a challenge for hatchery managers. Phenotypic variation is the result of genetics, environment, and interactions between them. A genotype may interact with the environment to fine tune the match between a phenotype and the local environment, thus providing a greater ability to adapt to habitat. Hatchery induced changes to phenotype may impact the survival of stocked coregonids and could prevent or slow the success of any stocking program. Therefore, as stocking programs are developed for coregonids in the Great Lakes, understanding the interactions between genotype and environment will be important. In particular, it is important to determine what variables and what life history stages shape the morphological development of coregonids. Ongoing and past work conducted by researchers at the Great Lakes Science Center has shown that the hatchery environment can have an impact on morphology and the developmental trajectories that result in changes that occur at early stages of development. More information on the timing and factors that affect adult morphology would provide critical information to hatchery programs about preferred stages for stocking and conditions in the hatchery that might affect adult morphology the most. Ongoing work with partners at Wayne State University is providing baseline information about the coregonid transcriptome (expressed genes). The genomic resources developed in this project could be used as a reference for further descriptions of gene expression differences among cisco reared in a hatchery and those in the wild from hatch to metamorphosis.

Funded In

Funding Agency


Restoration Framework Phase

Project Impact



Project Subjects