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Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish / BENJAMIN WHITTAKER

Swansea University Author: BENJAMIN WHITTAKER

  • E-Thesis – open access under embargo until: 28th May 2026

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.57270

Abstract

Ectoparasitic lice threaten sustainable Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) aquaculture, as high farm stocking densities facilitate louse infestation thereby increasing mortality rates. Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) have recently been demonstrated to remove lice and are increasingly deployed onto farms as...

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Published: Swansea 2020
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
Supervisor: Garcia de Leaniz, Carlos ; Consuegra Sofia
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57270
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first_indexed 2021-07-06T14:25:48Z
last_indexed 2021-07-07T03:21:16Z
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spelling 2021-07-06T16:33:33.6015045 v2 57270 2021-07-06 Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish 978c55d9e22059cca52b5037235467f2 BENJAMIN WHITTAKER BENJAMIN WHITTAKER true false 2021-07-06 Ectoparasitic lice threaten sustainable Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) aquaculture, as high farm stocking densities facilitate louse infestation thereby increasing mortality rates. Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) have recently been demonstrated to remove lice and are increasingly deployed onto farms as cleaner fish. Commercial stocks of lumpfish are now produced in hatcheries to meet growing demand from farms across the Atlantic, however, concern grows regarding the long-term viability of this practise due to insufficient knowledge on lumpfish biology. Challenges include understanding how patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation influence performance, whether desirable traits can inform captive breeding, potential impacts on wild populations and whether intraspecific variation in cleaning behaviour can be optimized. Therefore, this thesis examined genetic and phenotypic variation in lumpfish across multiple biological scales, ranging from populations down to family stocks and individuals, investigating factors influencing aquaculture performance. Chapter 1 found genetic structure in populations across the Atlantic, with limited gene flow separating regions of lumpfish aquaculture. Chapter 2 identified phenotypic differences in the body morphology of stocks, including variation in scutes and body depth of northern and southern phenotypes. Sexual dimorphism was identified in the mouth, flag, hump and caudal peduncle. Chapter 3 showed further phenotypic differences in fitness-related traits, with faster growth, more active swimming and lower survival associated with northern stocks. Chapter 4 developed protocols to quantify lumpfish personality and found that bolder individuals interacted more with salmon, whereas, a syndrome for social-aggression was linked to antagonistic behaviour. Patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation imply population differentiation is reflected in stocks commonly used in aquaculture. Common-garden trials suggested translocated lumpfish show reduced fitness, therefore establishing regionally-specific stocks may benefit performance and minimise detriment to wild populations via introgression through farm escapes. Personality constituted a major source of variation in cleaning behaviour, selecting bold lumpfish could optimise efficiency. E-Thesis Swansea Salmon farm, cleaner-client interaction, salmon lice, population genetics, morphology, fitness traits, personality 10 2 2020 2020-02-10 10.23889/SUthesis.57270 ORCiD identifier https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9316-6285 COLLEGE NANME COLLEGE CODE Swansea University Garcia de Leaniz, Carlos ; Consuegra Sofia Doctoral Ph.D Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest) 2021-07-06T16:33:33.6015045 2021-07-06T15:19:28.7253494 Faculty of Science and Engineering School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences BENJAMIN WHITTAKER 1 Under embargo Under embargo 2021-07-06T16:22:26.2024579 Output 3641758 application/pdf E-Thesis – open access true 2026-05-28T00:00:00.0000000 Copyright: The author, Benjamin Alexander Whittaker, 2020. true eng
title Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
spellingShingle Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
BENJAMIN WHITTAKER
title_short Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
title_full Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
title_fullStr Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
title_full_unstemmed Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
title_sort Phenotypic and genetic variation in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): applications towards sustainable aquaculture of cleaner fish
author_id_str_mv 978c55d9e22059cca52b5037235467f2
author_id_fullname_str_mv 978c55d9e22059cca52b5037235467f2_***_BENJAMIN WHITTAKER
author BENJAMIN WHITTAKER
author2 BENJAMIN WHITTAKER
format E-Thesis
publishDate 2020
institution Swansea University
doi_str_mv 10.23889/SUthesis.57270
college_str Faculty of Science and Engineering
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hierarchy_top_id facultyofscienceandengineering
hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Science and Engineering
hierarchy_parent_id facultyofscienceandengineering
hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Science and Engineering
department_str School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Science and Engineering{{{_:::_}}}School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences
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description Ectoparasitic lice threaten sustainable Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) aquaculture, as high farm stocking densities facilitate louse infestation thereby increasing mortality rates. Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) have recently been demonstrated to remove lice and are increasingly deployed onto farms as cleaner fish. Commercial stocks of lumpfish are now produced in hatcheries to meet growing demand from farms across the Atlantic, however, concern grows regarding the long-term viability of this practise due to insufficient knowledge on lumpfish biology. Challenges include understanding how patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation influence performance, whether desirable traits can inform captive breeding, potential impacts on wild populations and whether intraspecific variation in cleaning behaviour can be optimized. Therefore, this thesis examined genetic and phenotypic variation in lumpfish across multiple biological scales, ranging from populations down to family stocks and individuals, investigating factors influencing aquaculture performance. Chapter 1 found genetic structure in populations across the Atlantic, with limited gene flow separating regions of lumpfish aquaculture. Chapter 2 identified phenotypic differences in the body morphology of stocks, including variation in scutes and body depth of northern and southern phenotypes. Sexual dimorphism was identified in the mouth, flag, hump and caudal peduncle. Chapter 3 showed further phenotypic differences in fitness-related traits, with faster growth, more active swimming and lower survival associated with northern stocks. Chapter 4 developed protocols to quantify lumpfish personality and found that bolder individuals interacted more with salmon, whereas, a syndrome for social-aggression was linked to antagonistic behaviour. Patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation imply population differentiation is reflected in stocks commonly used in aquaculture. Common-garden trials suggested translocated lumpfish show reduced fitness, therefore establishing regionally-specific stocks may benefit performance and minimise detriment to wild populations via introgression through farm escapes. Personality constituted a major source of variation in cleaning behaviour, selecting bold lumpfish could optimise efficiency.
published_date 2020-02-10T04:05:36Z
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