**The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below. For a copy of the completion report, please contact the GLFC via e-mail or via telephone at 734-662-3209**
A comparison of genetic diversity at the major histocompatibility complex in hatchery-produced and wild lake sturgeon
Amy Welsh2 and Brian Sloss3
2 SUNY-Oswego, Department of Biological Sciences, 7060 State Route 104, Oswego, NY 13126
3 U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, USGS, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI 54481
Many lake sturgeon populations are below their historic population size and stocking is a management strategy that is being implemented to help recover the species. One of the risks of stocking is a loss of genetic diversity. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays an important role in the immune defense system of vertebrates and loss of diversity at this locus could have serious effects on the fitness of the population. We analyzed MHC diversity in two groups of larvae produced in the wild and one group of larvae produced in the hatchery. Genetic diversity was also analyzed at 12 microsatellite loci to see diversity at neutral loci was a good predictor of diversity at adaptive loci. Diversity at the neutral microsatellite loci was not correlated to diversity at the MHC. The hatchery group did not have a reduction in heterozygosity at the MHC. However, there were fewer alleles represented in the hatchery group, with the rare alleles not being well represented. The absence of these rare alleles could affect the evolutionary potential of stocked fish.