Strategic BC Salmon Health Initiative: Inventory and Assessment of Health Risk of Microbes in BCs Pacific Salmon
The role of infectious disease in declining productivity of wild salmon in BC is poorly understood. We will combine novel genomic technologies with traditional fish health methodologies and more broadly identify the microbe exposure of BC salmon. By doing so, we can examine their evolutionary relationships and their epidemiological distribution patterns over time and space as well as assess the pathogenic potential through histopathology, functional genomics, proteomics, and other clinical measures of condition. Ultimately, we will identify the most critical microbes for BC salmon and follow-up with disease challenge studies. Inclusion of wild, hatchery, and aquaculture fish will provide the opportunity to explore potential pathways of exchange. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will contribute epidemiological studies and next generation sequence analysis for phylogenetics, transmission studies, and novel microbe discovery and will receive valuable training in conservation management from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and in genomics, physiology, veterinary epidemiology, and bioinformatics by collaborating laboratories at University of BC, University of Prince Edward Island, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. These project interns will assist the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) in obtaining data that can better inform salmon management for developing conservation policies for the species that PSF helps to protect and conserve.