Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Bluegill--Iowa--Genetics; Bluegill--Iowa--Growth;


Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is one of the most fished species in Iowa. However, after an initial stocking event, lakes rarely receive additional stockings owing to a high rate of natural reproduction. For this reason, the genetic diversity of Bluegill populations remains understudied in the context of fisheries and natural resource management. Additionally, the extent to which genetics influences the growth rate of Bluegill on a population level has not yet been extensively examined. The goal of this study was to understand the diversity of Iowa’s Bluegill population and to determine if there is a genetic association with growth rate. We used restriction-site associated DNA sequencing to generate a high-quality genomic dataset and used these data to call single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We quantified the genetic diversity of Bluegill in three Iowa lakes: Viking Lake, Besh Wildlife Pond, and Prairie Rose Lake. These lakes receive different levels of fishing pressure, with Viking Lake and Prairie Rose Lake having higher levels of pressure than Besh Wildlife Pond. In addition, Bluegill populations within these lakes have notably different growth rates; Viking Lake is considered a slow growing population while Prairie Rose Lake and Besh Pond are considered fast growing. Results suggest significant genetic diversity exists between populations in these lakes. Further results indicate little evidence for SNPs significantly associated with growth rate, total length and weight.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Biology

First Advisor

Peter B. Berendzen, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 44 pages)



File Format