Genetic and physiological drivers of reproductive dysfunction in neo-male Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar

Supervisory Team:

Jawahar Patil(IMAS, UTAS), Morgan Brown (CSIRO).

Brief project description:

The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is one of the most farmed temperate fish species, accounting for nearly all of finfish production in Tasmania. Monosex (all-female) farming underpins this production. In practice, this is made possible by an ability to produce neo-males (genetic females with functional male phenotype), which are used as broodstock to sire all-female offspring. However, the current practices used for neo-male production yield varying levels of success. This unreliability has consequences for operational efficiency, cost of production and farm/hatchery footprint. This student project will build on the existing IMAS work on physiology of neo-males (de Castro and Patil 2019; Brown et al., 2021) and genetic variability of sex (Brown et al., 2020) in Atlantic salmon to both characterise and understand the drivers of reproductive dysfunction in neo-males with a view to inform and streamline neo-male production practices.

The student will work closely with partners and will receive industry mentorship and project support.


de Castro, PL, Patil,JG. 2019. Aquaculture Res 50: 3171– 3180.

Brown, M.S., Evans, B.S. & Afonso, L.O.B. 2020. Scientific Reports 10, 9651

Brown, M. S., Evans, B. S., & Afonso, L. O. 2021. Aquaculture 545, 737216.

Skills students will develop during this research project: Developmental morphology, immunohistochemistry and molecular genetics (inc. Transcriptomics) as applied to the reproductive physiology of fish.

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
November 7, 2022