Projects Directory

Consequences of interbreeding between farmed and wild salmon under climate change: effects on thermal tolerance

Recipient: Memorial University of Newfoundland (Fleming)
Approved Amount: $21,000 for 2023 (1st year of 3-year project; Total: $87,084)
Year Approved: 2023

Description: The proposed research aims to assess the consequences of interbreeding between farmed and wild salmon, particularly in terms of thermal tolerance. Introgression of farm genes into wild populations may alter their thermal tolerance and have consequences under the increasingly warming river temperatures expected with climate change. The project will involve field collections, lab experiments and whole genome sequencing to measure differences in temperature adaptation among wild, farm and hybrid salmon. The thermal tolerance and stress of hybrid and wild underyearling (0+) juveniles collected from “hybrid swarm” populations on the south coast of Newfoundland will be compared to 0+ farm juveniles in a common garden experiment quantifying their critical thermal maximum (CTmax). Then we will use whole genome sequencing to identify genes and/or gene regions associated with introgression from aquaculture salmon and thermal tolerance (i.e. climate adaptation), and regions where the two overlap and may result in maladaptation to climate change.

Project Contact:  Dr.  Ian Fleming,, (709) 864 – 3586