Building molecular tools for coregonine species identification

Contributing Authors

Wendylee Stott (DFO,

Executive Summary

The larval phase of Coregonus spp. represent a bottleneck in year class strength that is not well understood in extant populations and could present an impediment for coregonine restoration efforts in the Great Lakes. The use of species-specific DNA sequences to identify coregonine eggs, larvae, and juveniles will provide the information needed to fill in gaps related to habitat use. The use of mitochondrial DNA sequences and quantitative PCR (qPCR) allowed us to distinguish between cisco and lake whitefish eggs collected from spawning grounds in Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan. A panel of species-specific markers developed using genotyping-in-thousands-by-sequencing (GTseq) is under development that has the potential to distinguish among all Coregonus and Prosopium species in the Great Lakes.