Genetics and Genomics

Science Center Objects

USGS aquatic scientists develop and adapt new technologies and tools that increase the effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and accuracy of aquatic ecosystem management.

Learn more about our research by visiting the web pages below.

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Development of a SNP Library for the Genus Sander and Preliminary Genetic Analysis of Walleye and Blue Pike from Lake Erie

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Blue pike was considered extinct in the U.S. in 1983 and in Canada in 1985, yet reports of the species in both the U.S. and Canada continue to surface.  Although now they are considered to be sub-species of Sander vitreum, questions remain about the taxonomic status of blue pike and walleye that have been difficult to address with genetic techniques due to the scarcity of samples of blue pike that yield DNA of sufficient quality. 

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Genetic Diversity of Extinct and Extant Fish of the Genus Sander from the Western Basis of Lake Erie

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Comparisons of historical and contemporary population genetic structure of Sander species will provide natural resource managers with information necessary to evaluate progress in current walleye population rehabilitation and restoration efforts.  Additional information gained in this study about the taxonomic status of Sander species will be useful to management agencies to help management and protect walleye and sauger populations in throughout their range.

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Genetic Population Structure of Lake Whitefish in Lake Huron

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Lake whitefish are currently managed as 33 stocks (8 in Michigan waters and 25 in Ontario waters). However, little genetic information exists to support these stock designations.  Previous genetic studies sampled the northern of portions lakes Huron and a few sites in lakes in Superior and Ontario and there is a recent more comprehensive study of Lake Michigan, but little is known about the genetic diversity and stock structure of main basin and major spawning grounds on Lake Huron.  

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Natural Lake Trout Strain Identification in Lake Huron

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

A variety of microsatellite DNA markers have been developed for salmonid species and recent research projects have characterized microsatellite DNA variation in the majority of lake trout hatchery strains stocked into the Great Lakes.  

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Biochemistry / Physiology

Science Center: Columbia Environmental Research Center

Current studies in the Biochemistry/Physiology Branch include the use of DNA microarray technology to study endocrine disruptor mechanisms of action, mechanisms of intersex development in adult fish, definition of gene expression profiles for contaminants with diverse modes of action, effects of thiamine deficiency on early life stage mortality in salmonines, and effects of methylmercury on reproduction.

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Bioinformatics

Science Center: Leetown Science Center

Bioinformatics is a relatively new field of science that incorporates elements of biology and computer science together for the purpose of developing efficient and robust methods for the analyses and interpretation of large amounts of biological data, typically DNA or RNA sequence data.

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Genetic Analysis of Wild and Captive Black Carp in the Mississippi River Basin

Science Center: Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Black carp have likely been present in the Mississippi River since the 1990s, but their current distribution and spread is not well understood. Genetics is helping to shed light on this species, including its diversity, the relatedness of wild and captive fish, and its introduction history. 

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Evolutionary mechanisms influencing the spread of hybridization: genomics, fitness and dispersal

Science Center: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

New genomic technologies, combined with long-term hybridization studies in natural populations, provide exciting opportunities to advance our understanding of evolutionary mechanisms that influence hybridization, adaptation, and the spread of invasive species. 

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Genetic status and distribution of native westslope cutthroat trout in Glacier National Park

Science Center: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

This research project will aid in this effort by assessing the genetic status, population structure, and evolutionary history of westslope cutthroat trout throughout Glacier National Park using stream electrofishing and non-lethal genetic testing.

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Fish Genetics

Science Center: Western Fisheries Research Center

The genetic research at Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC) aims to aid and assist resource managers by generating a greater understanding of the mechanistic processes that drive the evolutionary biology in native fishes. 

 

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