The Genetics Laboratory has acquired a Fluidigm EP 1


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Molecular Genetics Laboratory (WDFW-MGL) has been operating since 1985, first operating as the Department of Fisheries, Genetic Stock Identification Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. James Shaklee, and focusing almost entirely on stock identification and fishery analyses. In 1997, the laboratory operations expanded to include analyses of DNA sequences and microsatellites, and in 2005 to include SNP markers. In late 2005, Dr. Shaklee retired, and the Fish Genetic Laboratory merged with the Wildlife Conservation Genetics program to form the current Molecular Genetics Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Warheit (formerly with WDFW Wildlife Conservation Genetics program).

Currently, WDFW-MGL employs a staff of 10 full-time employees, and processes roughly 20-30,000 samples per year using primarily microsatellite, sequence, and SNP markers. During the past three years, laboratory personnel have completed or will complete over 120 fish-related projects, with financial support from the US Federal Government (e.g., Pacific Salmon Commission, Bonneville Power Authority (BPA), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), State Wildlife Grants (SWG), and through the Anadromous Fish Act (PL-304) or Mitchell Act), Washington State (General Fund), county Public Utility Districts (PUDs – dam operators), Native American Tribes, and others.

In addition to being one of the principal genetics laboratories contributing to the standardization of allozyme, microsatellite, and SNP markers in Chinook, chum, and coho salmon, steelhead, and bull trout, WDFW-MGL is also a major repository of fish tissue samples (for DNA analysis), with 2500 individual collections incorporating a minimum of 375,000 individual fish, representing over 50 fish species.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Molecular Genetics Laboratory is located in Olympia, Washington, and operates a state-of-the-art molecular laboratory. The lab is constructed as a three-room concourse with separate DNA extraction, PCR, and freezer rooms/sections. The total size of the lab is 2700 sq ft, not including individual office space for technicians, biologists, and research scientists and an off-site storage facility. See Labworks section for a list of primary instruments operated by the laboratory.