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Parental characteristics versus egg survival: towards an improved genetic management in the supportive breeding of lake whitefish
Annales Zoologici Fennici
A number of sexual selection models predict that reproductive success in the wild is positively linked to heritable viability (e.g. the "good genes" models). Here we explore whether there is information about heritable viability that could potentially be used in the hatchery management of Alpine lake whitefish (Coregonus sp.). We drew 20 wild-caught individuals out of a breeding program, crossed them in a fully balanced 10 females x 10 males mating design, and incubated each sibship in several replicates until hatching. We then compared egg survival with parental characteristics. Egg number or milt volume were not significantly correlated with egg survival, nor was egg size. However, female size and age, and male quality indicators such as condition factor, breeding ornamentation, and fluctuating asymmetry, were useful predictors of egg survival. We discuss the possibility that a promotion of heritable viability could be carefully balanced with the maintenance of genetic variation in order to maximize the survival prospects of a population.
effective population-size sexual selection oncorhynchus-mykiss rainbow-trout parasites benefits variance quality
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