A microsatellite baseline for genetic stock identification of European Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

John Gilbey*, Jamie Coughlan, Vidar Wennevik, Paulo Prodöhl, Jamie R. Stevens, Carlos Garcia De Leaniz, Dennis Ensing, Eef Cauwelier, Corrine Cherbonnel, Sofia Consuegra, Mark W. Coulson, Tom F. Cross, Walter Crozier, Eileen Dillane, Jonathan S. Ellis, Eva García-Vázquez, Andrew M. Griffiths, Sigurdur Gudjonsson, Kjetil Hindar, Sten KarlssonDavid Knox, Gonzalo Machado-Schiaffino, Dorte Meldrup, Einar Eg Nielsen, Kristinn Ólafsson, Craig R. Primmer, Sergey Prusov, Lee Stradmeyer, Juha Pekka Vähä, Alexey Je Veselov, Lucy M.I. Webster, Philip McGinnity, Eric Verspoor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
220 Downloads (Pure)


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) populations from different river origins mix in the North Atlantic during the marine life stage. To facilitate marine stock identification, we developed a genetic baseline covering the European component of the species' range excluding the Baltic Sea, from the Russian River Megra in the north-east, the Icelandic Ellidaar in the west, and the Spanish Ulla in the south, spanning 3737 km North to South and 2717 km East to West. The baseline encompasses data for 14 microsatellites for 26 822 individual fish from 13 countries, 282 rivers, and 467 sampling sites. A hierarchy of regional genetic assignment units was defined using a combination of distance-based and Bayesian clustering. At the top level, three assignment units were identified comprising northern, southern, and Icelandic regions. A second assignment level was also defined, comprising eighteen and twenty-nine regional units for accurate individual assignment and mixed stock estimates respectively. The baseline provides the most comprehensive geographical coverage for an Atlantic salmon genetic data-set, and a unique resource for the conservation and management of the species in Europe. It is freely available to researchers to facilitate identification of the natal origin of European salmon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-674
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number2
Early online date23 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Atlantic salmon
  • genetic stock identification
  • individual assignment
  • marine ecology
  • microsatellites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'A microsatellite baseline for genetic stock identification of European Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this