Recent advances in molecular genetics have produced exciting new techniques that can be applied to long-standing problems in fisheries science. The Fisheries Genetics Program bridges the gap between molecular biology and fisheries science, using molecular techniques to investigate a wide variety of fisheries-related subjects. Foremost among these are studies of the population genetic structure or stock composition of commercially and/or recreationally important fisheries. The program also uses molecular techniques to determine the evolutionary histories (phylogenies) of marine organisms, and to identify eggs, larvae, and fishery products that cannot be identified using morphological characters (forensic studies).
- Development of a suite of high-throughput molecular markers for genetic monitoring, genetic tagging and population genetics of bluefin tuna.
- Use of mitochondrial control region sequences and nuclear microsattelite loci to evaluate population structuring in white marlin.
- Development of a suite of high-throughput molecular markers to evaluate population structure and evolutionary relationships of the striped marlin and white marlin.
- Use of mitochondrial control region sequences and nuclear microsattelite loci to evaluate population structuring of the spotted sea trout.
- Molecular genetic analysis of tautog population structure.
Previous Studies (by species or family):
- Stock structure: Blue marlin, white marlin, black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel, chub mackerel, escolar, marlin sucker (a remora), bluefish, weakfish, menhaden, mako shark, sandbar shark, sharpnose shark, Portuguese dogfish, spiny dogfish, leafscale gulper shark, cownose ray, mummichog, rapa whelk, bay scallop, calico scallop, loggerhead turtle
- Phylogeny: Billfishes (family Istiophoridae), mackerels (genus Scomber), remoras (family Echeneidae), snake mackerels and cutlass fishes (families Gempylidae and Trichiuridae), and coleoid cephalopods,
- Forensics (species/population identification/discrimination): Billfishes, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific blue marlin, Atlantic scombrinds (tunas, mackerels, etc.), recreational fishes of Chesapeake Bay, hybrids of the coney and creole fish in Bermuda