Judging a salmon by its spots: Environmental variation is the primary determinant of spot patterns in Salmo salar
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Ecology. 2018, 18:14 1-13. 10.1186/s12898-018-0170-3
In fish, morphological colour changes occur from variations in pigment concentrations and in the morphology, density, and distribution of chromatophores in the skin. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unresolved in most species. Here, we describe the first investigation into the genetic and environmental basis of spot pattern development in one of the world’s most studied fishes, the Atlantic salmon. We reared 920 salmon from 64 families of domesticated, F1-hybrid and wild origin in two contrasting environments (Hatchery; tanks for the freshwater stage and sea cages for the marine stage, and River; a natural river for the freshwater stage and tanks for the marine stage). Fish were measured, photographed and spot patterns evaluated.