A linkage map of 40 linkage groups (LGs) was developed for brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis, using an F(2) interstrain hybrid progeny (n = 171) and 256 coding gene SNP developed specifically for brook charr and validated from a large (>1000) subset of putative SNP, as well as 81 microsatellite markers. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to reproduction functions, these fish were also phenotyped at six physiological traits, including spermatozoid head diameter, sperm concentration, plasma testosterone, plasma 11-keto-testosterone, egg diameter, and plasma 17β-estradiol. Five significant QTL were detected over four LGs for egg diameter and plasma 17β-estradiol concentration in females, and sperm concentration as well as spermatozoid head diameter in males. In females, two different QTLs located on LG 11 and LG 34 were associated with the egg number, whereas one QTL was associated with plasma 17β-estradiol concentration (LG 8). Their total percent variance explained (PVE) was 26.7% and 27.6%, respectively. In males, two QTL were also detected for the sperm concentration, and their PVE were estimated at 18.58% and 14.95%, respectively. The low QTL number, associated with the high PVE, suggests that the variance in these reproductive physiological traits was either under the control of one major gene or a small number of genes. The QTL associated with sperm concentration, plasma 17β-estradiol, and egg diameter appeared to be under a dominance effect, whereas the two others were under a negative additive effect. These results show that genes underlying the phenotypic variance of these traits are under different modes of action (additive vs. dominance) and may be used to predict an increase or a decrease in their phenotypic values in subsequent generations of selective breeding. Moreover, this newly developed panel of mapped SNP located in coding gene regions will be useful for screening wild populations, especially in the context of investigating the genetic impact of massive stocking of domestic brook charr to support the angling industry throughout eastern North America.
Keywords: QTL detection; Salvelinus fontinalis; linkage mapping; reproduction; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP).