Scientists saved endangered fish by altering their DNA

Whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus, sometimes known as Coregonus clupeoides) is one of the rarest fish in Scotland.

inhabiting only lakes Ek and Lomond.This species is considered very valuable in Scotland. The problem is that its population status is deteriorating due to habitat destruction. These processes are caused by climate change, rising water temperatures and the emergence of non-native ruff fish in Loch Lomond, which actively feed on whitefish eggs.

Since the long-term health of a population depends onfrom its genetic diversity and the evolutionary effect of translocation, scientists wanted to find out how populations change. The goal is to take a closer look at the genetic health of a species and determine if translocation has been a successful conservation strategy.

Striving to preserve freshwater pavan speciesfish, scientists have been introducing caviar and fish into lake areas throughout Scotland for 30 years in order to create new stable populations. A study by a group from the University of Glasgow using modern methods of genome analysis showed that individuals did indeed take root in their habitat. At the same time, new populations of common whitefish are distinguished by high genetic diversity, in contrast to the original ones.

In their work, scientists have identified 14 genomic SNPs. Some of them are found alongside or within genes involved in the formation and functioning of the immune system, nervous system, and liver function.

“Translocation shows how fastadaptation and evolution occur in wild populations, even in just a few generations. This is natural selection in action - changes in DNA and genomes that help fish survive and gain a foothold in their new environment, ”the scientists note.

Research published in a scientific journal Evolutionary Applications.

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Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP), pronounced snip) - differences in the DNA sequence in sizeone nucleotide (A, T, G or C) in the genome (or in another comparable sequence) of representatives of the same species or between homologous regions of homologous chromosomes. It is used as genetic markers to study linkage disequilibrium of loci and genome-wide association search (GWAS).