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Abstract

This study was designed to assess the use of a computer-assisted system based on erythrocyte measurements as a possible alternative to flow cytometry for identifying triploid rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Blood smears were prepared from 26 triploid and 26 diploid specimens, as determined by flow cytometry after staining blood cells with propidium iodide. The cell and nucleus lengths of 10 erythrocytes were determined in each fish. This was followed by discriminatory analysis to distinguish between diploids and triploids based on their score profiles. Triploid trout showed significantly larger erythrocyte cell and nucleus measurements than their diploid counterparts (N=52; P<0.0001). Erythrocyte length correctly identified 100% of the fish specimens as diploid or triploid, while nucleus length was a less accurate predictor of the level of ploidy. Our findings validate the potential use of computer-assisted analysis for this purpose. J. Exp. Zool. 303A:1007–1012, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.