A Biochemical Genetic Study of Wisconsin Lake Herring (Coregonus artedii)
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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Genetic and phenotypic variation among Wisconsin populations of lake herring (Coregonus artedii) found in Sunset Lake, Pallette Lake, Green Lake, and Lac Courte Oreilles were assessed by vertical starch gel electrophoresis and comparison of meristic traits. Each lake had natural lake herring populations except Sunset Lake in which the population was established by transplant from Pallette Lake in 1961. Electrophoretic analysis of the enzymes lactate and malate dehydrogenase indicated that gene expression for the enzymes was monomorphic and uniform among the populations. Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase was monomorphic and uniform in the Sunset and Pallette Lake populations, but polymorphic in Green Lake and Lac Courte Oreilles. Comparison of fork length/pectoral fin length, fork length/ventral to anal fin distance, fork length/pectoral fin to ventral fin distance, fork length/dorsal fin to adipose fin distance, fork length/internaral width, and fork length/head length in Pallette and Sunset Lakes indicated that a large amount of variation existed between the populations. All of the ratios had significantly different means except fork length/pectoral fin length and fork length/dorsal fin to adipose fin distance. To estimate the relative influence of genetic and environmental factors on trait variation in Pallette Lake it was assumed that, due to inbreeding, the genetic variance in the Sunset Lake population was essentially zero. Under this assumption variance partitioning indicated that heredity was responsible for trait variation in Pallette Lake. The relation between lake herring growth and an index of lake productivity indicated that the environment influences growth rates.