Novel DNA markers for rapid, accurate, and cost-effective discrimination of the continental origin of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

J Gilbey, D Knox, M O'Sullivan, E Verspoor

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Salmon from geographically representative rivers in North America and Europe were typed for variation at the microsatellite locus SS1 and the mitochondrial DNA ND-1 restriction site 3971, using PCR amplification and agarose-gel electrophoresis. North American salmon showed near-fixation for SS1 alleles between 129 and 135 bp in length and the N mtDNA restriction type, while European salmon near-fixation for SS1 alleles between 183 and 219 bp and the A/D mtDNA type. Based on the observed variant frequencies, using these two markers in combination is predicted to give correct assignment of >99.5% of salmon to continent-of-origin. As both these continental markers can be screened by agarose-gel electrophoresis, their use offers a more rapid, cheaper, and simpler method for accurate assignment of Atlantic salmon to continent-of-origin than do existing methods. These markers can be applied to the identification of salmon in North Atlantic high-seas fisheries, in aquaculture stocks, and in rivers to determine the continent-of-origin of fish-farm escapes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1606-1616
Number of pages10
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • continental origin
  • microsatellite market
  • mtDNA
  • stock discrimination

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