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Open Access Research article

Chromosome rearrangements, recombination suppression, and limited segregation distortion in hybrids between Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri) and rainbow trout (O. mykiss)

Carl O Ostberg12*, Lorenz Hauser2, Victoria L Pritchard3, John C Garza3 and Kerry A Naish2

Author Affiliations

1 U.S. Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, 6505 NE 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98115, USA

2 School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 1122 NE Boat Street, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98105, USA

3 Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service and University of California, Santa Cruz, 110 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:570  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-570

Published: 22 August 2013



Introgressive hybridization is an important evolutionary process that can lead to the creation of novel genome structures and thus potentially new genetic variation for selection to act upon. On the other hand, hybridization with introduced species can threaten native species, such as cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) following the introduction of rainbow trout (O. mykiss). Neither the evolutionary consequences nor conservation implications of rainbow trout introgression in cutthroat trout is well understood. Therefore, we generated a genetic linkage map for rainbow-Yellowstone cutthroat trout (O. clarkii bouvieri) hybrids to evaluate genome processes that may help explain how introgression affects hybrid genome evolution.


The hybrid map closely aligned with the rainbow trout map (a cutthroat trout map does not exist), sharing all but one linkage group. This linkage group (RYHyb20) represented a fusion between an acrocentric (Omy28) and a metacentric chromosome (Omy20) in rainbow trout. Additional mapping in Yellowstone cutthroat trout indicated the two rainbow trout homologues were fused in the Yellowstone genome. Variation in the number of hybrid linkage groups (28 or 29) likely depended on a Robertsonian rearrangement polymorphism within the rainbow trout stock. Comparison between the female-merged F1 map and a female consensus rainbow trout map revealed that introgression suppressed recombination across large genomic regions in 5 hybrid linkage groups. Two of these linkage groups (RYHyb20 and RYHyb25_29) contained confirmed chromosome rearrangements between rainbow and Yellowstone cutthroat trout indicating that rearrangements may suppress recombination. The frequency of allelic and genotypic segregation distortion varied among parents and families, suggesting few incompatibilities exist between rainbow and Yellowstone cutthroat trout genomes.


Chromosome rearrangements suppressed recombination in the hybrids. This result supports several previous findings demonstrating that recombination suppression restricts gene flow between chromosomes that differ by arrangement. Conservation of synteny and map order between the hybrid and rainbow trout maps and minimal segregation distortion in the hybrids suggest rainbow and Yellowstone cutthroat trout genomes freely introgress across chromosomes with similar arrangement. Taken together, these results suggest that rearrangements impede introgression. Recombination suppression across rearrangements could enable large portions of non-recombined chromosomes to persist within admixed populations.