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Development and Evaluation of 200 Novel SNP Assays for Population Genetic Studies of Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Genetic Identification of Related Taxa

Sep 4, 2012


DNA sequence data were collected and screened for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) and also for substitutions that could be used to genetically discriminate Rainbow Trout (O. mykiss) and Cutthroat Trout, as well as several Cutthroat Trout subspecies. In total, 260 expressed sequence tag-derived loci were sequenced and allelic discrimination genotyping assays developed from 217 of the variable sites. Another 50 putative SNPs in Westslope Cutthroat Trout were identified by restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing, and seven of these were developed into assays. Twelve O. mykiss SNP assays that were variable within Westslope Cutthroat Trout and 12 previously published SNP assays were also included in downstream testing. A total of 241 assays were tested on six Westslope Cutthroat Trout populations (N = 32 per population), as well as collections of four other Cutthroat Trout subspecies and a population of rainbow trout. All assays were evaluated for reliability and deviation from Hardy-Weinberg and linkage equilibria. Poorly performing and duplicate assays were removed from the data set, and the remaining 200 assays were used in tests of population differentiation. The remaining markers easily distinguished the various subspecies tested, as evidenced by mean GST of 0.74. A smaller subset of the markers (N = 86; average GST = 0.40) was useful for distinguishing the six populations of Westslope Cutthroat Trout. This study increases by an order of magnitude the number of genetic markers available for the study of Westslope Cutthroat Trout and closely related taxa and includes many markers in genes (developed from ESTs).


Nathan Campbell, Stephen Amish, Victoria Pritchard, Kevin McKelvey, Michael Young, Michael Schwartz, John Garza, Gordon Luikart, and Shawn Narum


Campbell N.R., S.J. Amish, V.L. Pritchard, K.S. McKelvey, M.K. Young, M.K. Schwartz, J.C. Garza, G. Luikart, and S.R. Narum. 2012. Development and evaluation of 200 novel SNP assays for population genetic studies of Westslope Cutthroat Trout and genetic identification of related taxa. Molecular Ecology Resources 12(5):942-999. Online at



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Journal Article