Collecting fish tissue samples to analyze genetic variation within and among populations is often important for our projects. We partner with molecular laboratories that perform genetic assays using gene sequences, microsatellites, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). FISHBIO staff are experienced with analyzing the data generated by our partner labs, which are used to assess levels of genetic diversity for threatened or endangered species, or to evaluate population connectivity. In other instances, genetic methods are the only reliable way to non-lethally determine the sex of a fish, particularly if the specimen of interest has not reached reproductive maturity.
Decreasing cost of genetic approaches has led to increasing use of genetic based mark-recapture studies. Parent-based tagging is one such approach that makes it possible to identify the offspring of spawning fish based on the analysis of genetic samples from both generations. Such data provide information about spawning success as well as the number of spawners.