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Biology Department, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
Contact person (name and e-mail):
Louis Bernatchez,
Persons working on brown trout population genetics:
Louis Bernatchez
General research topics of the laboratory:
Genetic population structure, conservation and management, phylogeography, reproduction biology, quantitative genetics and gene mapping.
General description of research on brown trout population genetics:
My general interest in research on brown trout is essentially summarized in Study 1. The phylogeographic pattern of the brown trout complex will be compared to that of other north temperate species complexes (such as Coregonus lavaretus/clupeaformis, Salvelinus alpinus/malma) in order to develop a general scenario for the origin and evolution of this group of organisms.

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List of projects (brown trout) for the past 3 years:


Study #1
Researcher: Louis Bernatchez
Collaborators: Dr. A. Ferguson, Dr. A. Osinov, Dr. P. Berrebi, Dr. R. Guyomard
Source of project funding: NSERC, Canada.
Topic: Phylogeography.
Objective: Document a detailed, phylogeographic pattern of the brown trout species complex throughout its natural distribution range in order to understand the evolutionary history of natural populations.
Design: The sampling design is organized to specifically address broad scale phylogeographic patterns. This means that the number of sampling sites, rather than number of individuals per site is maximized. To date, data have been gatherted for approximately 175 populations covering the whole natural species complex range. For the majority of sites, the specimens have first been genotyped by a PCR-RFLP analysis of the ND56, cytochrome b, D-loop regions (approximately 4.6 kilobases) using a set of six restriction enzymes selected from a subset of 19, and that are particularly suited to distinguish the five major mitochondrial DNA lineages previously defined. These are also sufficiently polymorphic on the studied mtDNA segments to assess diversity within the different evolutionary groups. Sequence information is then added for one to several representatives of each RFLP mtDNA genetypes because it is obviously much more easily standardised among laboratories.
Methodology: mtDNA sequencing, mtDNA RFLP.
Trout population: Resident population, anadroumous population, potamodromous.
Origin of samples: Atlantic Basin (North Sea, Baltic Sea), Black Sea Basin, Caspian Sea Basin, Mediterranean Sea Basin, all Eurasian and North African species complex range.
Status: Started in 1990, planning to finish in 1999 (it is a never ending story…)

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Publications (brown trout genetics)

Journal papers:

  • Bernatchez, L. (1995). A role for Molecular systematics in defining evolutionary significant units (ESU) in fishes. P. 114-132 in J. L. Nielsen, editor. Evolution and the aquatic ecosystem: defining unique units in population conservation. Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 17, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Bernatchez, L. & Osinov, A. (1995). Genetic diversity of trout (genus Salmo) from its most eastern native range based on mitochondrial DNA and nuclear gene variation. Mol. Ecol., 4, 285-297.
  • Bernatchez, L. & Wilson, C. C. (1998). Comparative phylogeography of nearctic and palearctic freshwater fishes. Mol. Ecol., 7, 431-452.
  • Bernatchez, L., Guyomard, R. & Bonhomme, F. (1992). DNA sequence variation of the mitochondrial control region among morphologically and geographically remote European brown trout Salmo trutta populations. Mol. Ecol., 1, 161-173.
  • Giuffra, E., Bernatchez, L. & Guyomard, R. (1994). Mitochondrial control region and protein coding genes sequence variation among phenotypic forms of brown trout, Salmo trutta L., from Northern Italy. Mol. Ecol., 3, 161-171.
  • Osinov, A. & Bernatchez, L. (1996). Atlantic and Danubean phylogenetic groupings of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) complex: genetic divergence, evolution, and conservation. J. Ichthyol., 36, 762-786.

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