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Keywords:

  • conservation;
  • contemporary evolution;
  • evolutionary applications;
  • farmed salmon;
  • gene expression;
  • genetic architecture;
  • hybridization;
  • introgression

Abstract

Because of intrinsic differences in their genetic architectures, wild populations invaded by domesticated individuals could experience population-specific consequences following introgression by genetic material of domesticated origin. Expression levels of 16 000 transcripts were quantified by microarrays in liver tissue from farm, wild, and farm-wild backcross (i.e. F1 farm-wild hybrid × wild; total n = 50) Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) raised under common environmental conditions. The wild populations and farm strain originated from three North American rivers in eastern Canada (Stewiacke, Tusket, and Saint John rivers, respectively). Analysis of variance revealed 177 transcripts with different expression levels among the five strains compared. Five times more of these transcripts were differentiated between farmed parents and Tusket backcrosses (= 53) than between Stewiacke backcrosses and their farmed parents (= 11). Altered biological processes in backcrosses also differed between populations both in number and in the type of processes impacted (metabolism vs immunity). Over-dominant gene expression regulation in backcrosses varied considerably between populations (23% in Stewiacke vs 44% in Tusket). Hence, the consequences of introgression of farm genetic material on gene expression depended on population-specific genetic architectures. These results support the need to evaluate impacts of farm-wild genetic interactions at the population scale.