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Genetically Improved All-Female Walleye (Sander vitreus) For Intensive Aquaculture Production In The Great Lakes Region



We propose to optimize and combine two technologies (e.g., sex reversal and triploidy) to produce walleye Sander vitreus with superior production traits. We will produce gynogenetic masculinized walleye and cross these individuals with walleye females. Resulting zygotes will then be subjected to pressure shock, producing triploid (sterile) all-female offspring.


The overall goal of the proposed project is to use genetic methods to produce triploid walleye Sander vitreus that will result in superior growth of the female genotype (30% growth advantage over males) (Malison et al. 1990) and avoidance of nutrients expenditure associated with sexual maturation by polyploidy (sterilization). Specific objectives are to:

  1. Produce meiotic gynogenetic (XX) walleye and to compare two methods (immersion and feeding) to sex reverse gynogenetic fish into neomales (sperm producing XX fish) using 17α-methyltestosterone (MT).
  2. Optimize the use of pressure shocks to produce triploid walleyes.
  3. Compare growth, survival, and gonad development of the following four experimental progeny groups: (a) diploid walleyes (sex genotypes: XX & XY), (b) triploid walleyes (XXX & XXY), (c) all-female diploid walleyes (XX), and (d) all-female triploid walleyes (XXX). These experiments will be conducted in raceway tanks (OSU, UW-Madison, and Reef Systems Coral Farm Inc, New Albany, OH) and micro-ponds (Northey Farms LLC, Deerfield, WI).
  4. Refine walleye sperm cryopreservation methods and develop a pilot cryobank for walleye neomale sperm to allow for immediate availability to research laboratories and fish farms in the North Central region
  5. Record short videos over the span of 2 years of research and extension (work on the farms) that will include all the phases of life cycle of walleye and the methods conducted in the laboratory, including production of gynogens and triploids (pressure shock), sperm cryopreservation and use in practical field conditions, and results of the project.


Chairperson:                                       Konrad Dabrowski, Ohio State University

Extension Liaison:                             Alexander Primus, University of Minnesota

Industry Liaison:                               Adam Hater, Jones Fish, Cincinnati, OH

Co-Investigator:                                 Osvaldo Jhonatan Sepulveda-Villet, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Duration:                                              July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2023


Project Outline


Termination Report


Award Amount


Award Number

2016-38500-25753, Year 1; 2018-38500-28887, Year 2

Principal Investigator

Konrad Dabrowski