Classified trout genome: researchers now hope to solve taxonomic issues

A group of researchers completed the genomic sequencing of trout (Salmo trutta), one of the most discussed fish at the taxonomic classification level.

Different species of trout have adapted to exploit particular biological niches and very often can be characterized by very different behavioral patterns. Many scientists believe that it is not possible to group all trout populations into one species. For this very reason, in recent years there have been many subspecies of trout proposed for a new classification and for several of them the elevation to the rank of species has been proposed.

In addition to helping to explain the various genetic properties of this animal, this complete sequencing may be useful to clarify these taxonomic issues, in particular by making comparisons between the genomes of different species having a reference genome.

“Now that we have the genome, we can start learning more about how trout adapt to different conditions, helping to manage wild and farmed fish stocks in the future,” says Tom Hansen, of the Marine Research Institute in Norway, one of the researchers involved in the study.

Paolo Prodohl, a researcher at the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University in Belfast, said in his press release: “The new trout genome is a turning point for us. We will finally be able to resolve the debate on how many species of trout there are. If you think in terms of conservation, if you manage several species as one species, it actually undermines what you’re trying to do. Because you can’t protect what you don’t know if it exists.”


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