Conservation Genetics

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 473–483 | Cite as

Genetic structure and within-generation genome scan analysis of fisheries-induced evolution in a Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) population

  • Jobran Chebib
  • Sébastien Renaut
  • Louis Bernatchez
  • Sean M. Rogers
Research Article


Size-selective harvest may lead to over-exploitation of commercial fisheries, but the population genetic and evolutionary consequences of such practices remain poorly understood. We investigated the role of within-generation selection in a historically over-exploited Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) population associated with fisheries-induced evolution in Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada. DNA from archived scales of Lake Whitefish collected between 1986 and 1999 were genotyped at 20 microsatellites and 51 gene-coding SNPs associated with growth and reproduction. We found that the Lake Whitefish in Lesser Slave Lake consisted of a single genetic stock, with microsatellites revealing more temporal than spatial variation in allele frequencies. A comparative genome scan among replicate cohorts from commercially harvested versus random survey samples identified one candidate SNP under divergent selection. This SNP localized within a gene encoding nucleoside diphosphate kinase A, a protein associated with differential growth. Collectively, the results highlight the utility of within-generation genome scans towards investigating the evolutionary consequences of harvest in the wild.


Coregonus Lake Whitefish SNP Archived DNA Historical DNA Fisheries-induced evolution Within-generation selection 



We would like to thank Alberta Environment and Parks biologist John Tchir for assistance in collecting tissue samples. Stacy Muise and Sara Stephenson assisted with the DNA isolation and microsatellite genotyping. We would also like to thank members of the Rogers and Vamosi labs for helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by an Alberta Conservation Association challenge grant in biodiversity to JC and a Natural Sciences and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures grant to SMR. SMR would also like to thank the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre for resources when completing this manuscript.

Data accessibility

Raw data for this study are available upon request and will be archived in Dryad. Accession number for outlier loci on NCBI nucleotide database was CB511030.


This study was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures grant to SMR and an Alberta Conservation Association Student Grant in Biodiversity to JC.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

We declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The study was certified by the Life and Environmental Science Animal Care Committee (Rogers AC13-0040) in accordance with the Canadian Council for Animal Care ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jobran Chebib
    • 1
  • Sébastien Renaut
    • 2
  • Louis Bernatchez
    • 3
  • Sean M. Rogers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Département de BiologieUniversité LavalQuebecCanada

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