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The serological relationships of some Pacific Coast salmonoid fishes Hourston, William Roderick


The problem of the serological relationships of some members of the genera Oncorhynchus, Salmo and Salvelinus was investigated. Serum samples were obtained from the five species of Pacific salmon, (genus Oncorhynchus), the rainbow trout (Salmo gairdnerii gairdnerii Richardson) and the dolly varden char (Salvelinus alpinus malma Walbeum). The protein content of all sera was determined. The antisera were produced in rabbits by the short series injection method, the initial dosage being 5 mgms. of serum protein per kilogram of body weight. Relationships were determined by means of the precipitin reaction using the ring test technique. Relationship values were expressed as percentages of the homologous titer. In all, eight sera were tested against six antisera. The results showed that the coho, spring, sockeye and kokanee salmon form a closely related group and cannot be separated serologically by means of the ring test. The chum salmon demonstrated a significant difference from this latter group, as did also the rainbow trout and the dolly varden, the dolly varden exhibiting the greatest difference. The tests with the pink salmon antiserum gave indications that this species is as equally distant from the chum salmon as it is from the coho, spring, sockeye and kokanee salmon. Reactions of the same intensity as the above were obtained with the rainbow trout serum. This may have been due to contamination of the antigen. Control tests were carried out using the serum of the lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus Girard). This gave very weak reactions with the antisera of the pink and kokanee salmon as well as the dolly varden char.

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