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Development and application of microsatellite loci to support commercial broodstock development in signal crayfish



In 2005/06, we were funded in an ACRDP project to collect, and sample for DNA analysis, Signal crayfish from 10 freshwater sites within the Fraser River drainage west of Hope, B.C. The animals were to be live-trapped and transferred to individual stock rearing facilities at the Brumar freshwater rearing hatchery. Researchers in the Molecular Genetics Lab at PBS were also funded to attempt to identify microsatellite loci in Signal crayfish using primers developed from other crayfish species worldwide. If the primers were successful for Signal crayfish, a genetic survey of the collected broodstock was to be funded in the second year (2006/07) of the project. The live-trapping of individuals was successful and revealed an extraordinary size range in individuals collected from different locations - phenotypic variation that may indicate the presence of significant additive genetic variation among crayfish populations that can be exploited in a breeding program designed to produce large animals for the restaurant trade. However, the survey of microsatellite loci developed from other species did not produce any primer sets that would amplify polymorphic loci in Signal crayfish. As a result, the second year of this project could not proceed as planned. This one year proposal, in which we will isolate and apply species-specific primers for Signal crayfish, therefore redefines the work plans for 2006/07.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2006 - 2007


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Ruth Withler

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