Genetic Diversity of Perca flavescens in Lac la Biche
Low genetic diversity in a population reduces the viability of that population. Ecological, environmental, and anthropogenic events can reduce the genetic diversity in a population, usually through reductions in population size. A collapse of the fishery industry in Lac la Biche, Alberta due to over-predation of Sander vitreus (walleye) by Phalacrocorax auritis (double-crested cormorants) coaxed Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to institute a lake management plan to reduce the double-crested cormorant population and increase the walleye population within the lake. The Perca flavescens (yellow perch) population in Lac la Biche has also been affected by over-predation in that lake. Since yellow perch have generally low levels of genetic diversity across North America, it is important to gauge their genetic diversity in Lac la Biche. This will be performed by extracting DNA from yellow perch samples netted from Lac la Biche in 2011, amplifying six microsatellite loci using PCR, and then electrophoretically determining each individual yellow perch’s alleles for those six microsatellite loci. This allele data will then undergo a population metric analysis to determine yellow perch genetic diversity in Lac la Biche. Results from this study can then inform similar lake management strategies on a global scale.
Faculty Mentor: David MacFadyen and Mrinal Das
Department: Biological Science