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General East Coast Marine Biodiversity Initiatives

Canadian Biotechnology Strategy

Enhanced Development and Application of Genetic Biotechnology to Atlantic Fisheries and Aquaculture

Maintenance of genetic diversity in natural populations of commercially valuable marine species is critical to the long-term sustainability of harvest fisheries on these groups, as genetic diversity is essential in providing species and populations the resiliency to adapt to both environmental changes and fishing pressure. By using molecular tools to construct genetic profiles of populations, it is possible to make informed management decisions which will maximize the potential for sustained genetic diversity over time. The Canadian Biotechnology Strategy (CBS)/ Dalhousie partnership has advanced knowledge of population genetic structure of both wild stocks of commercial species, and aquaculture brood stocks. Future application of this knowledge will be fundamental to the development and management of sustainable harvest fisheries and aquaculture programs in Atlantic Canada.

Mandate

The mandate of the CBS DFO/Dalhousie University Partnership is to utilize and develop leading edge genetic biotechnology relevant to Atlantic Fisheries and Aquaculture, to expand knowledge and understanding of the genetic diversity of commercially important species, and apply this knowledge to the management of fisheries resources.

Goals

  1. To catalogue the previously unknown population genetic structure of three commercially important marine species in Atlantic Canada:
  2. To apply information on genetic variation in haddock populations to the selection of aquaculture brood stock in order to:
    • enhance aquaculture programs
    • avoid inbreeding
    • prevent detrimental effects on wild populations
  3. To contribute to the development and training of highly skilled personnel in the workforce by training students and employees in the rapidly developing fields of:
    • molecular biology
    • fisheries management and conservation
    • aquaculture

The CBS/ DFO partnership met these goals through the application of highly variable DNA markers known as "microsatellites".

Microsatellites have been studied intensively as a useful tool for determining conservation strategies for endangered and commercially exploited species. When examined across a species' range, these molecular markers provide for the identification unique populations for management purposes.

Funding and Partners

Personnel

Directors/ Principle Investigators
E. Kenchington (DFO)
C.T. Taggart (Dalhousie University)

Lead Researchers
Arran McPherson (Dal, PhD candidate)
Matthew W. Jones (Dal, PDF, now - DFO)
Patrick O'Reilly (Dal, PDF; now - DFO)

Technical Investigators
Doug Cook (Research Technician)


Contributions to the training of skilled personnel

Name
CBS Position
Current Employment Status
Melissa AndersonResearch TechnicianN/A
Dawn ArmstrongResearch Technician; Dalhousie Co-op ProgramStudent, Dalhousie University
Laura BennettResearch Technician; Dalhousie Co-op Program Student, Dalhousie University
Roxanne BowerResearch Technician; Dalhousie Co-op Program Student, Dalhousie University
Research Technician for Dr. Jeff Htuchings,
Dalhousie University (as of April 2002)
Nicole BoudreauResearch TechnicianGraduate Student
Mark Coulson Research Technician; DFO Youth InternStudent, University of Prince Edward Island
Andrea Cox Research Technician; YMCA Youth InternBiologist, Diadromous Fisheries Division
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Kristian GordosResearch Technician; DFO Youth Intern Co-op ProgramResearch Technician for Dr. Christophe
Herbinger, Dalhousie University
Leah Lewis(Research Technician; Dahousie University Co-op ProgramStudent, Dalhousie University
Tara McParland(Research Technician; DFO Youth Intern) Research Technician for Dr. Jeff Hutchings
Dalhousie University (as of April 2002)
Koren Spence(Research Technician; DFO Youth Intern)

Biologist, Invertebrate Fisheries Division
Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Publications and Verbal Communications

Publications and Posters

Jones, M.W., O'Reilly, P.T., McPherson, A.A., McParland, T.L., Armstrong, D.E., Spence, K., Cox, A., Kenchington, E.L., Taggart, C.T. and Bentzen, P. Development, characterisation, inheritance and cross-species utility of American lobster (Homarus americanus) microsatellite and mtDNA PCR-RFLP markers. Pp. 34. Submitted to Genome Oct. 2001.

Jones, M.W., O'Reilly, P.T., McPherson, A.A., McParland, T., Armstrong, D., Cox, A.J., Spence, K., Kenchington, E.L., Taggart, C.T. and P. Bentzen. Accepted. Development, characterisation, inheritance and cross-species utility of American lobster (Homarus americanus) microsatellite and mtDNA PCR-RFLP markers. Genome.

McPherson, A., Stephenson, R., O'Reilly, P., Jones, M., and Taggart, C. 2001. Genetic diversity of coastal north-west Atlantic herring populations: implications for management. Journal of Fish Biology 59 (A)356-370.

McPherson, A., C.T. Taggart, P. Shaw, P. O'Reilly and D. Cook. 2001. Microsatellite-based Analyses of Population Structure in Atlantic Herring. In Herring 2000:Expectations for a new millennium. Funk, F., Blackburn, J. Stephenson, R., Toresen, R. and Witherill, M. eds. University of Alaska SeaGrant. Fairbanks.

McPherson, A., P. O'Reilly, T. McParland, M. Jones, and P. Bentzen. 2001. Rapid isolation of tetranucleotide microsatellites in Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). Molecular Ecology Notes, 1, 31-33.

McPherson, A.A., Stephenson, R.L. and C.T. Taggart. Accepted. Genetic variation of Atlantic herring spawning waves. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

McPherson, A., C. Taggart, D. Cook and P. Shaw. 1999. Genetic basis for population structure in Scotia-Fundy Atlantic herring based on microsatellite DNA variability. Working paper #17. Department of Fisheries and Oceans Atlantic herring 4VWX Regional Assessment Process, Dartmouth, NS. 30 March 1999.

O'Reilly, P., McPherson, A., Kenchington, E., Taggart, C., Jones, M., and Bentzen, P. In Press. Isolation and characterization of tetranucleotide microsatellites from Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus). Molecular Biotechnology.

Jones, M.W., Kenchington, E.L., Prodohl, P., O'Reilly, P.T., McPherson, A.A., and Taggart, C.T. Genetic studies of American lobster (Homarus americanus). C.C.F.F.R. Jan. 2001. Toronto, ON.

Verbal Communications

Armstrong, D.E. The Effect of Geographical Isolation on the Genetic Divergence of American Lobster (Homarus americanus) Atlantic University Undergraduate Biology Conference. Halifax, NS. 9-11 Mar., 2001.

Jones, M.W. Use of genetic markers in defining Lobster Production Areas. Department of Fisheries and Oceans Lobster Production Area Workshop. 20-21 Mar., 2001. Dartmouth, NS.

Jones, M.W., Kenchington, E.L., Prodohl, P., O'Reilly, P.T., McPherson, A.A., and Taggart, C.T.. Genetic studies of American lobster (Homarus americanus). Fishermen & Scientists Research Society Lobster Workshop Lobster Science - Past Present and Future. 11-12 Jan., 2001. Halifax, NS.

Jones, M.W. American lobster: tetranucleotide development and applications to questions related to genetic structure. Canadian Biotechnology Strategy DFO-MGPL Meeting. 7-9 Jun. 2000. Department of Fisheries and Oceans St. Andrew's Biological Station, NB.

McPherson, A., P. O'Reilly, M. Jones, C. Reiss, and C.T.Taggart. 2001. Patterns of population structure in Atlantic herring: reconciliation with the retention hypothesis. Oral presentation at Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research, Toronto, ON. 4-6 January 2001.

McPherson, A., C.T. Taggart, P. Shaw, P. O'Reilly and D. Cook. 2000. Microsatellite-based Analyses of Population Structure in Atlantic Herring. Oral presentation at Herring2000:Expectations for a new millennium. Alaska SeaGrant, Anchorage, AK. 24-29 Feb 2000.

McPherson, A., D. Cook, C. Taggart, and P. Shaw. 1999. Population structure in Atlantic herring based on microsatellite variability. Oral presentation at Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research, Edmonton, AB. 9-10 January 1999.

McPherson, A., D. Cook, and C. Taggart. 1999. Population structure in Atlantic herring: a test of the retention hypothesis. Oral presentation at Early Life History, AFS Symposium, Beaufort, NC. 7-10 April 1999.

McPherson, A. 2001. Population structure in Atlantic herring. Marine and Invertebrate Fish Seminar Series, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, March 14, 2001.

McPherson, A. 2001. Overview of herring genetics program. Biodiversity Workshop, St. Andrews Biological Station, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Feb 12-13 2001.

McPherson, A. 2000. Atlantic herring: tetranucleotide development and applications to questions related to genetic structure. Canadian Biotechnology Strategy DFO-MGPL Meeting. St. Andrew's Biological Station, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. June 7-9 2000.

McPherson, A. 1999. Microsatellite based population structure of Scotia-Fundy Atlantic herring. Marine Molecular Biotechnology Lab, School of Fisheries, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 21 Nov. 1999.

McPherson, A. 1999. Genetic basis for population structure in herring. St. Andrew's Biological Station, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 17 June 1999.

O'Reilly, P. 2000. Atlantic haddock: tetranucleotide development and applications to aquaculture. Canadian Biotechnology Strategy DFO-MGPL Meeting. St. Andrews Biological Station, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. June 7-9 2000.

Taggart, C.T. 2001. Marine fisheries conservation science and management issues - examples from the north-west Atlantic. NSW Fisheries Centre Invited Speakers Seminar Series, Cronulla, NSW 2230 Australia. May 2001.


Huntsman Marine Science Centre/Atlantic Reference Centre
Recent Contributions to CMB Goals

23 May 2002

The Huntsman Marine Science Centre promotes biodiversity through (a) public outreach through its public aquarium, (b) education field courses (elementary, high school, university, teachers, elderhostel), (c) research, and (d) infrastructure that supports biodiversity research and management. Most of the research and infrastructure in relation to natural marine biodiversity is conducted within the Atlantic Reference Centre, the HMSC-DFO jointly operated archive for collections of Canadian Atlantic animals and plants. The ARC staff and visiting researchers have international reputations in taxonomy, systematics, and biodiversity. Recent contributions to CMB goals fall under the following headings and please click on each for more information.

Curation (specimen archiving and museum database)

  1. Curation of deep-sea fishes from the Canadian Atlantic, with studies on their ecology
    • 2001-02 (completed), funded by DFO Science & Technology Youth Internship Program
  2. Museum curation of the historically and geographically important Templeman Collection of Canadian Atlantic fishes, with studies on the biogeography of selected taxa
    • 2002-03, funded by DFO Science & Technology Youth Internship Program
  3. Data rescue and biogeographic research on a historically important squid collection
    • 2002-03, funded by DFO Science & Technology Youth Internship Program
  4. Advancing biodiversity science through institutional coalitions - the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and the Atlantic Reference Centre
    • 2002-06, application submitted to the Canada Foundation for Innovation
    • led by the University of Guelph
  5. Summer student museum assistants, 1-2/yr (funded by Canadian Museums Association, Human Resources Development Canada, and New Brunswick Student Employment and Experience Development program).
  6. Development of the European Register of Marine Species into an on-line relational database that provides the most authoritative species dictionary for 28,000 marine species in Europe, and linking this with existing databases with species distribution data
  7. Development of a biogeographic information system: pilot application in the Gulf of Maine
    • 2000-02, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the U.S. National Oceanographic Partnership Program
      · in collaboration with University of Southern California and DFO
  8. Development of a species information system for the Bay of Fundy
    • 2001-02 (completed), funded by the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund (sponsored by the New Brunswick Dept. of Environment & Local Government)
  9. Completion of a marine species information system for the Bay of Fundy
    • 2002-03, application submitted to the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund (sponsored by the New Brunswick Dept. of Environment & Local Government)
  10. Fishes of Atlantic Canada: a photographic compendium
    • 2001-02 (completed), funded by Industry Canada (Canada's Digital Collections program)
    • http://collections.ic.gc.ca/compendium/
  11. An atlas of distributions of Canadian Atlantic fishes based on literature records
    • 2002-03, application submitted and accepted in principal, Industry Canada (Canada's Digital Collections program)
  12. Public access to Canadian Atlantic marine biodiversity data
    • 2002-03, application submitted to GeoConnections program of Natural Resources Canada on behalf of CMB
    • in collaboration with DFO, Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, Nova Scotia Museum, Marine Invertebrate Diversity Initiative, and Canadian Museum of Nature
  13. Systematics and evolution of brachyuran crabs (Majidae). NSERC Research Grant.
  14. Ecology and behaviour of fish associated with deep-sea coral (Lophelia pertusa) in Europe using underwater video - 2000-2003
  15. Use of GIS to predict the distribution of deep-sea corals in the North Atlantic - 2001-2003, supervision of an MSc project through Dalhousie University part-funded by the Centre of Marine Biodiversity and DFO. Only funded for 2002 at present. Results will directly contribute to OBIS.
  16. North Atlantic Project - a comparison of marine biodiversity between east and west Atlantic. USA participants funded by NSF 2002-2003 with expenses to meetings for Canadian and European scientists. Preparing NSERC proposal to fund Canadian elements. This will examine biogeographic patterns in species distributions across the Atlantic.
  17. Distribution of rare, endangered and keystone marine vertebrate species in Bay of Fundy seascapes
    • 2000-01 (completed), funded by Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
    • in collaboration with the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre
  18. Evaluating biodiversity in marine environmental assessments
    • 2001-02, funded by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
  19. BIOMARE - a networking project that is developing a framework of marine biodiversity reference sites in Europe, and identifying appropriate indicators and measures of marine biodiversity - 2000-2002.
  20. Canadian coordinator, HRDC Canada & EU BIODAQUA student exchange program in aquatic biodiversity between Canada and EU
    • 2001-2004
  21. Chair of International OBIS Committee (Dr. Mark Costello)
    • 2002-03, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  22. Development of a digital framework for a Canadian Atlantic registry of marine biodiversity
    • 2001-02 (completed), funded by DFO via the :: Centre for Marine Biodiversity ::
    • anticipate funding to develop registry from framework
  23. Costello, M. 2002. Biodiversity metrics - products of biodiversity information. Workshop on Canadian Marine Biodiversity, White Point, NS, 25-28 February 2002.
  24. Costello, M. 2002. Using species lists in marine biodiversity research and management, McGill University, Department of Geography seminar, Montreal, PQ, February 2002.
  25. Costello, M. 2001. Species lists as tools in marine biodiversity research and assessment. St Mary's University, Department of Biology seminar, Halifax, NS, November 2001.
  26. Costello, M. 2001. Species information systems. European Science Foundation, EURESCO conference: Biodiversity of coastal marine ecosystems, Corinth, Greece, May 2001.
  27. Costello, M. 2001. Protection and conservation of biodiversity. Institute of Biomedical Sciences 25th anniversary of Aquatic Sciences Program, University of Porto, March 2001.
  28. Bredin, K., S.H. Gerriets, and L. Van Guelpen. 2002. Distribution of rare, endangered and keystone marine vertebrate species in Bay of Fundy Seascapes. Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership 5th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Wolfville, NS, 13-16 May 2002.
  29. Martin, A., L. Van Guelpen, and G. Pohle. 2002. Gulf of Maine biogeographic information system (GMBIS) pilot study: consolidation of marine data sets. Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership 5th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Wolfville, NS, 13-16 May 2002.
  30. McGuire, A., G. Pohle, and L. Van Guelpen. 2002. Development of a Canadian Atlantic biodiversity information system by the Atlantic Reference Centre. Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership 5th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Wolfville, NS, 13-16 May 2002.
  31. Pohle, G. 2001. How recovery occurs naturally: benthic effects of fallowing and cessation of operations at a salmon farm in the Letang Inlet. Aquaculture physical remediation workshop, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Aquaculture Committee, 20 September 2001, St. Andrews, NB.
  32. Pohle, G. 2002. Huntsman's Atlantic Reference Centre: an overview of activities related to freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates. First Annual Meeting of the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Programs of the East, 15 February 2002, Fredericton, NB.
  33. Pohle, G., V. Merritt, and K. Haya. 2002. Assessment of benthic community structure near mariculture sites in Passamaquoddy Bay and the Letang Inlet. Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership 5th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Wolfville, NS, 13-16 May 2002.
  34. Van Guelpen, L., and G. Pohle. 2002. Framework for a registry of Atlantic marine biodiversity. Workshop on Canadian Marine Biodiversity, White Point, NS, 25-28 February 2002.
  35. EURESCO conference: Biodiversity of coastal marine ecosystems, Corinth, Greece, May 2001
  36. Workshop on Canadian Marine Biodiversity, White Point, NS, 25-28 February 2002
    • development of a science plan for marine biodiversity research
    • part-funded by Sloan Foundation/CoML and DFO.
  37. Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network National Science Meeting, Aylmer, Qué., 9-13 April 2002
    • representation of CMB
  38. Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership 5th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Wolfville, NS, 13-16 May 2002
  39. Colour of Ocean Data: international conference on biological oceanography, Brussels, 25-27 Nov. 2002
    • on organizing committee
  40. Bailly, N., Eschmeyer W.N., Froese R., Quero C., ven der Land, J., Costello M.J., Zavodnik D., Santos R. S., and Porteiro F.M. 2001. Pisces. In: Costello, M. J., Emblow, C and White R. (editors) 2001. European Register of Marine Species. A check-list of marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Patrimoines naturels 50, 357-374.
  41. Bellan-Santini, D. and Costello M.J. 2001. Amphipoda. In: Costello, M. J., Emblow, C and White R. (editors) 2001. European Register of Marine Species. A check-list of marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Patrimoines naturels 50, 295-308.
  42. Bredin, K.A., S.H. Gerriets, and L. Van Guelpen. 2001. Distribution of rare, endangered and keystone marine vertebrate species in Bay of Fundy seascapes. Report to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, v + 73 p.
  43. Costello, M. J. 2001. To know, research, manage, and conserve marine biodiversity. Océanis 24 (4), 25-49.
  44. Costello, M. J. 2001. The role of science (biodiversity indices) in site selection and setting of boundaries, decision-making, and development of management plans. In: Chopin T. and Wells P. G. (eds), Opportunities and challenges for protecting, restoring and enhancing coastal habitats in the Bay of Fundy. Proceedings of the 4th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Saint John, New Brunswick, September 19-21 2000. Environment Canada, Atlantic Region Occasional Report No. 17, Environment Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 68-88.
  45. Costello, M.J., Elliott M. and Thiel R. 2002. Endangered and rare species. In: Fishes in estuaries, Elliott M. and Hemingway K. (ed.), Blackwell Science, Oxford, 217-265.
  46. Costello, M. J., Emblow, C and White R. (editors) 2001. European Register of Marine Species. A check-list of marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Patrimoines naturels 50, 1-463. ISBN 2-85653-538-0, ISSN 1281-6213.
  47. Costello, M. J., Grant. A., Davies I.M., Cecchini S., Papoutsoglou S., Quigley D. and Saroglia M. 2001. The control of chenmicals used in aquaculture in Europe. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 17, 173-180.
  48. Costello, M. J. , Hartnett M., Mills P., O'Mongain E., Collier L., Johnson M., Nash S., Leslie R., Berry A., Emblow C., Collins A., McCrea M. 2001. Measurement and modelling of nutrient dynamics of two estuaries in Ireland, Wexford and Cork Harbours. Synthesis Report. Environmental Research R&D Report Seriess No. 17, Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford, 52 pp. [ISBN 1-84095-076-5].
  49. Elliott M., Hemingway K., Costello, M.J., Duhamel S., Hostens K., Labropoulou M., Marshall S. and Winkler H. 2002. Links between fish and other trophic levels. In: Fishes in estuaries, Elliott M. and Hemingway K. (ed.), Blackwell Science, Oxford, 124-216.
  50. Marques, F., and G. Pohle. Submitted. Searching for larval support for majid subfamilies (Crustacea: Brachyura) with particular reference to Inachoidinae Dana 1851. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development.
  51. Marques, F., G.W. Pohle, and L. Vrbova. In press. On the larval stages of Macrocoeloma diplacanthum (Stimpson 1860) (Decapoda: Brachyura: Majidae), with a review of mithracine phylogenetic aspects. Journal of Crustacean Biology.
  52. McGuire, A., D. Welshman, T. Leverette, and L. Van Guelpen. 2002. Fishes of Atlantic Canada: a photographic compendium. Industry Canada, Canada's Digital Collections (http://collections.ic.gc.ca/compendium/).
  53. Pohle, G., B. Frost, and R. Findlay. 2001. Assessment of regional benthic impact of salmon mariculture within the Letang Inlet, Bay of Fundy. ICES Journal of Marine Science 58(2): 417-426.
  54. Pohle, G., and F. Marques. Submitted. Zoeal stages and megalopa of Leucippa pentagona H. Milne Edwards 1833 (Decapoda: Brachyura: Majidae: Epialtinae) obtained from laboratory culture and a comparison with other epialtine larvae. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development.
  55. Pohle, G., L. Van Guelpen, and A. McGuire. 2002. Development of a species information system for the Bay of Fundy. Report to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government. Funded by Environmental Trust Fund project number 010028, 7p. + 2 append.
  56. Vecchione, M., and G. Pohle. In press. Midwater cephalopods in the western North Atlantic Ocean off Nova Scotia. Bulletin of Marine Science.

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