Southwestern Native Aquatic Resource
and Recovery Center
Southwest Region

Research Unit

The Research Unit consists of a Molecular Ecology Laboratory and a Physiology & Pathobiology Laboratory

Molecular Ecology Laboratory

The mission of the Molecular Ecology Laboratory is to address the genetic components of multiregional Recovery Programs, and to aid in the accomplishment of the Southwest Regions Fisheries Program Strategic Plan goals. These objectives are attainable through the use of science and technology, by developing and applying conservation genetic principles to the management of species produced and maintained at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources & Recovery Center.

The Molecular Ecology Program at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources & Recovery Center includes a fully equipped laboratory. The laboratory strives to provide natural resource managers with assistance to genetically manage captive stocks using sound science, and integrating genetics into every day management practices. Our many cooperators include State, Tribal, University and intra and interregional partners.

The Molecular Ecology Program services include:

  • Ensuring captive stocks closely resemble wild stocks of endangered fish.
  • Estimating the genetic purity of captive and wild stocks.
  • Maintaining genetic diversity, and minimizing genetic changes in captive stocks.
  • Identifying potential domestication selection.
  • Predicting changes in the genetic structure of hatchery stocks to allow managers to mitigate those changes by altering hatchery practices.
  • Diagnostic services using molecular techniques.
  • Predict the influence of hatchery stockings before they occur.

The Molecular Ecology Program uses many tools to accomplish these objectives including microsatellite analysis, sequencing of DNA, quantitative and qualitative polymerase chain reaction, and single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Physiology & Pathobiology Laboratory

The mission of the Physiology & Pathobiology Laboratory is to conduct applied research on physiological adaptations of fish to changing environmental conditions and help in refining hatchery practices that will ensure the health and well being of captive stocks. The laboratory also works on developing methods to control invasive aquatic species, disease prevention and monitoring.

The Physiology & Pathobiology Program services include:

  • Baseline stress of captive fish stocks and development of protocols to minimize stress during handling and transport
  • Evaluation of chemical treatments to eradicate quagga mussels with minimal impact on fish health and well being
  • Research on nutritional needs of larval and adult fishes to imporve production
  • Research on osmoregulation and reproduction of captive fishes to improve hatchery practices
  • Disease prevention and monitoring

If you require additional information on the lab, please contact Dr. Izhar Khan, (575) 734-5910 ext. 16.

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Last updated: July 22, 2015