Fishes’ rapid development could help conserve species

Two distinct populations of rainbow trout – one in Alaska, the other in Idaho – share a genetic trait that could have huge implications for fisheries conservation and management.

The common trait is a similar rapid rate of development that has allowed these different salmomid subspecies to adapt to their native rivers in Alaska and Idaho. The researchers, in a paper put online ahead of publication in the journal Molecular Ecology, say the similarity, a gene variant, resides in a specific portion of their genomes from where this local adaptation is triggered.

Understanding and applying that knowledge could help guide current and future efforts to save species on the brink of extinction and help rejuvenate dwindling populations, especially as changing conditions alter fish environments.

Read more at University of Oregon