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Evidence of genetic and environmental influences on meristic variation in the rainbow trout salmo gairdneri


, : Evidence of genetic and environmental influences on meristic variation in the rainbow trout salmo gairdneri. Environmental Biology of Fishes 2(1): 25-33

An investigation of the effect of parentage and temperature on the expression of selected meristic characters of rainbow trout, S. gairdneri, reveals statistical differences in the number of vertebrae, dorsal fin rays and anal fin rays among test batches of progeny of different parentage. Batches of fertilized ova of the same stock or parentage, when incubated at 9.5.degree. C and 14.8.degree. C, produced lower mean dorsal and anal fin ray counts and a higher mean pectoral fin ray count at the higher temperature. Incubation temperature had no significant effect on the number of vertebrae. Significant statistical differences occurring in various characters among groups of rainbow trout of different parental origin provide convincing evidence of genetic inputs into meristic expression. However, the existence of both environmental and genetic inputs into meristic expression in rainbow trout necessitates further investigation before the meaning of observed meristic plasticity in rainbow trout can be resolved.

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