Since the first eggs hatched, our sturgeons grew well and are now ready for a new location with appropriate equipments. We sampled 100 individuals from each of our twelve families (six inbred and six outbred) at the aquaculture plant ‘Storione Ticino’ and we transferred them to a specific facility in the park ‘Oasi le Sorgenti’ in Dueville (province of Vicenza, Italy).
Here there will be also the opportunity to rear these animals in natural or seminatural conditions, giving us the chance to evaluate how they will adapt to these new environments and eventually to set-up new protocols to enhance the probability of survival when released in the wild. These individuals will be genotyped to estimate the genetic load based on the predicted deleterious mutation and correlate these estimates with fitness indices.
Thanks to the experience gained from the stocks kept at the University of Padua, we can now start the experiments required to estimate the fitness components. It has been a long day, but we succeeded in transferring the animals to their new location!