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Fishing for Salmon Genes

by the Fish Site Editor
20 March 2009, at 12:00am

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - A new molecular gentics project is helping researchers at the Pacific Biological Station in British Columbia, to develop genomics technologies for the management of wild salmon stocks.

Genetic technologies developed by the molecular genetics laboratory are already providing managers with real time information about the timing and distribution of salmon stocks moving through test fishing areas before fisheries are opened.

Managers use this information for in-season stock-based management, concentrating fisheries where healthy, abundant stocks are present and implementing conservation strategies for those in need of protection. This same lab is now taking a giant leap forward by using Tecan’s hybridization stations, providing additional information on the condition of the fish and the likelihood that they will successfully making it to the spawning grounds.

Dr Kristina Miller is head of molecular genetics at the Pacific Biological Station and explained how the Tecan system has advanced the project:

“Our aim is to develop tools to assess salmon condition that will allow us to predict physiological and behavioural response to the changing aquatic environment. One of the most important aspects of this work is minimising the technical variation between microarray slides and experiments, and the HS 4800 Pro gives us an exceptionally high consistency rate, as well as a high throughput capacity. The reliability of results is much better than the traditional manual approach and this, combined with the time and money saving aspects, makes the system a clear winner in terms of efficiency.”

the Fish Site Editor

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