Analysis of molecular genetic and life-history traits in Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.)

Lilian Pukk, Anti Vasemägi, Tiit Paaver, Riho Gross
Fishes provide food and livelihood for hundreds of millions of people around the world and currently fish consumption is higher than ever before. As a consequence, the threats of over-exploitation, illegal fishing and fish trade are very high. Because biologically insensible management actions or lack of necessary regulations may lead to population collapse, better understanding of genetic population structure and fisheries-induced changes in life-history traits is essential for conservation of
more » ... for conservation of local fish populations. Thus, the main goals of this thesis were to generate novel genomic resources, characterize population genetic structure, and study the consequences of overfishing of Eurasian perch populations and its potential causes to various life-history traits in Estonia. The over-exploitation of Eurasian perch population had strong influence on size- and age-distribution, juvenile growth rate and age of sexual maturation in males. Development of novel low-cost genome complexity reduction protocol enabled to identify large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms and microsatellite markers. Based on observed genetic structuring between two commercially most important perch fishery locations in Estonia (Väinameri Sea region and Lake Peipus), new microsatellite markers successfully revealed the genetic origin of perch, which can be used to fight against illegal fishing and fish trade. The population genetic framework described within this thesis represents a small but important milestone towards developing biologically sound conservation and management strategies for Eurasian perch.
doi:10.15159/emu.3 fatcat:g4nl544lovatxnlbkwf5ukhqsm