WP3: Genetics and Disease

The main aim is to examine connectivity and gene flow between populations of seaweeds which may be used in cultivation, in order to produce population genetic baseline overviews. Sugar kelp has been chosen as the main study species.

Macrosea wp3 illustration

Samples of sugar kelp have been collected from around 20 sites along the Norwegian coast including a large fjord, and population genetics will be examined by using RADseqs. An additional study will be carried out using microsatellites. The RADseq data will later be compared with data collected in Scotland. The study will show potential genetic groupings, and barriers for gene flow. In the continuance, isolated cultures of sugar kelp from different latitudinal origin (South-West, Mid-, and Northern-Norway) will be grown in three separate common garden experiments, exposed to different nutrient, temperature and light conditions, and the expressed genes profile of the different cultures will be compared. Their RNA transcriptome libraries will be scanned to find possible local to regional-specific differences in functional genes, for cultivar purposes.

Status

Summary autumn 2019

Samples of S. latissima for population genetics have been collected along the Norwegian coast and along Sognefjorden in a gradient from the innermost parts to the outer coastal parts, as well as from Hardangerfjord and the coastal parts between the two fjords to study degree of local population connection and gene flow in fjord seascapes. The material has been analysed using microsatellites, and the results are presented in a MSc thesis: «Population genetics of Saccharina latissima (sugar kelp) in Norway» by T. Næss. The results showed that the most isolated fjord populations had a different genetic structure than the coastal populations, while they suggested a good gene flow and little genetic differentiation between coastal populations. This material has been supplemented with more stations and samples, and are now re-analysed.In the same way, S. latissima from more open coast and more enclosed populations have also been analysed in a study from Scottland, but by using a different method (dd RADseq sequencing) and as part of the work of a PhD-student in Scottland (SAMS) (Thomson et al in prep). These results showed a clear tendency of local adaptation and selection, and a relatively strong genetic differentiation between the coastal populations. A RNA-Library will be created and transcriptional analysis of samples from a common-garden experiment with sugar kelp from Tromsø, Trondheim and Bergen will be done. 

Publications:

  •  Thomson A, Visch W, Nylund GM, Pavia H, Sjotun K, Stanley M. Population diversity and structure of Saccharina latissima on the Scottish and Swedish west coast. In prep.
  • Næss T (2018). Analyses of population genetics of Saccharina latissima (sugar kelp) in Norway. MSc-thesis UiB.

Summary autumn 2018

Samples of Saccharina latissima for population genetic analyses have been collected from stations from south to High North along the Norwegian coast in the monitoring programme and along Sognefjorden in a gradient from the innermost parts to the outer coastal parts. Samples of sugar kelp from Hardangerfjord and the coastal parts between the two fjords has been collected in a similar way, and the samples will be used in a study of degree of local population connection and gene flow in a fjord seascape. Samples for RADseq analysis and microsatellite analysis have been taken from sites as shown on the maps to the left and to the right below, respectively.

An RNA-Library will be created and transcriptional analysis of samples from a common-garden experiment with sugar kelp from Tromsø, Trondheim and Bergen will be done (Fig below).


 

Status autumn 2017

Regional monitoring programme with Saccharina (WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4): Seeded ropes were prepared and sent from SINTEF Sealab to all participants for deployment at sea in early February. A few challenges occurred due to missing licences for some sites the first weeks and some struggled to get equipment and seedlings in place due to bad weather. We have still managed to get quite some good data sets from several locations. In addition to the industry partners our PhD and MSc students have done a great job with getting registrations done at the different locations. The monitoring programme is completed and we are currently doing analysis.

Population genetics (WP3): Samples of Saccharina latissima for population genetic analyses have been collected from stations from south to High North along the Norwegian coast in the monitoring programme and along Sognefjorden in a gradient from the innermost parts to the outer coastal parts. Samples of sugarkelp from Hardangerfjord and the coastal parts between the two fjords has been collected in a similar way, and the samples will be used in a study of degree of local population connection and gene flow in a fjord seascape.

Contact

Kjersti Sjøtun

Professor
55 58 44 28
Name
Kjersti Sj√łtun
Title
Professor
Organization
University of Bergen