Lab Members


Integrative Biology

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Michael S. Blouin


E-Mail: blouinm(at)

Office Phone: (541)737-2362, Lab Phone: (541) 737-4360

Department of Integrative Biology
Oregon State University,
Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2914.

I have diverse interests in basic and applied evolutionary genetics. I teach General Genetics (Bi311), Population Genetics (Gen 430/530) and Evolution (Bi445/545). My past research focused on phenotypic evolution and landscape genetics in amphibians, and some work on methods for pedigree reconstruction in natural populations. The current research foci in my lab are:

(1) Evolutionary genetics of parasites, and host-parasite evolution (see example publications below).  Past work focused on what controls effective size, gene flow and genetic structure in helminth parasites (nematodes and trematodes). We now study the molecular evolution of disease resistance loci.  We are currently conducting an NIH-funded study of loci in snails (Biomphalaria glabrata) that confer resistance to trematodes (Schistosoma mansoni – a serious pathogen of humans).  Here we are using whole-genome scans to identify regions of the genome at which allelic variation controls resistance to infection by schistosomes. We are currently testing candidate loci identified by such scans, in addition to identifying additional genomic regions of association.

(2) We are studying the selection pressures in hatcheries that make hatchery fish become different from wild fish. This work follows our studies on steelhead trout, Onchorynchus mykiss that showed even a single generation of hatchery culture causes detectable domestication and loss of fitness in the wild.

Selected Publications: See also (COMPLETE LIST OF REFERENCES)

Evolutionary genetics of parasites, host-parasite interactions

Tennessen, JA, KM Bonner, SR Bollman, JA Johnstun, JY Yeh, ML Marine, HF Tavalire, CJ Bayne and MS Blouin. 2015. Genome-Wide Scan and Test of Candidate Genes in the Snail Biomphalaria glabrata Reveal New Locus Influencing Resistance to Schistosoma mansoni. Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases, 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004077


Tennessen JA, Théron A, Marine M, Yeh JY, Rognon A, Blouin MS. 2015. Hyperdiverse gene cluster in snail host conveys resistance to human schistosome parasites. Plos Genetics, 11:e1005067


Steinauer ML, Christie, MR, MS. Blouin, LE. Agola, IN. Mwangi, GM. Maina, MW Matuku, GM. Mkoji, ES Loker.. 2013. Noninvasive sampling of schistosomes from humans requires correcting for family structure. Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7:e2456


Blouin, MS, KM Bonner, B Cooper, V Amarasinghe, RP O’Donnell, and CJ. Bayne. 2013 Three genes involved in the oxidative burst are closely linked in the genome of Biomphalaria glabrata . International Journal for Parasitology 43:51-55 PDF


Bonner KM, CJ Bayne, MK Larson, and MS Blouin. 2012. Effects of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (sod1) genotype and genetic background on growth, reproduction and defense in Biomphalaria glabrata PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 6:e1701 PDF


Criscione, CD, R. Vias, E. Paniagua and MS Blouin. 2011. More than meets the eye: detecting cryptic microgeographic population structure in a parasite with a complex life cycle Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05113.x PDF


Steinauer, M., M.S. Blouin and C. Criscione. Applying evolutionary genetics to schistosome epidemiology. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 10:433-443.PDF


Theron, A., C. Coustau, A. Rognon, S. Gourbière, and M.S. Blouin. 2008 Effects of laboratory culture on compatibility between snails and schistosomes. Parasitology, 135:1179-1188. PDF


Tennessen, J.A. and M.S. Blouin. 2008. Balancing selection at a frog antimicrobial peptide locus: fluctuating immune effector molecules? Molecular Biology and Evolution 25:2669–2680. PDF


Tennessen J.A. and M.S. Blouin. 2007. Selection for antimicrobial peptide diversity in frogs leads to gene duplication and low allelic variation. Journal of Molecular Evolution 65:605-615 PDF


Criscione, C.D. and M.S. Blouin. 2006. Minimal selfing, few clones, and no among-host genetic structure in a hermaphroditic parasite with asexual larval propagation. Evolution, 60:553-562. PDF


Criscione, C.D., R. Poulin and M.S. Blouin. 2005. Molecular ecology of parasites: elucidating ecological and microevolutionary processes. Molecular Ecology 14:2247-2257. PDF

Salmonid fish – fitness, effects of captive breeding

Thompson, NF and MS Blouin 2015 The effects of high rearing density on the potential for domestication selection in hatchery culture of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0233


Christie, M., M. Ford and M.S. Blouin. 2014. On the reproductive success of first-generation hatchery fish in the wild. Evolutionary Applications, 7:883-896. PDF


Christie, M.R., M.L. Marine, R.A. French, R.S. Waples and M.S. Blouin. 2012. Effective size of a wild salmonid population is greatly reduced by hatchery supplementation Heredity, 109, 254–260 PDF


Christie, M.R., M.L. Marine, R.A. French and M.S. Blouin. 2011. Genetic adaptation to captivity can occur in a single generation Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PDF


Christie, M.R., M.L. Marine and M.S. Blouin. 2011. Who are the missing parents? Grandparentage analysis identifies multiple sources of gene flow into a wild population. Molecular Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04994.x.PDF


Araki, H., B. Cooper and M.S. Blouin. 2009. Carry-over effect of captive breeding reduces reproductive fitness of wild-born descendents in the wild. Biology Letters doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0315 PDF


Araki, H., B. Cooper and M.S. Blouin. 2007. Genetic effects of captive breeding cause a rapid, cumulative fitness decline in the wild. Science, 318: 100-103. PDF


Araki, H., W.R. Ardren, E. Olsen, B. Cooper and M.S. Blouin. 2007. Reproductive success of captive-bred steelhead trout in the wild: evaluation of three hatchery programs in the Hood River. Conservation Biology, 21:181-190. PDF


Araki, H., R.S. Waples, W.R. Ardren, B. Cooper and M.S. Blouin. 2007. Effective population size of steelhead trout: influence of variance in reproductive success, hatchery programs, and genetic compensation between life-history forms. Molecular Ecology 16:953-966 PDF


Pedigree reconstruction methods

Christie MR, Tennessen JA, Blouin MS. 2013. Bayesian parentage analysis with systematic accountability of genotyping error, missing data, and false matching. Bioinformatics, 29:725-732.


Christie, M.R., M.L. Marine and M.S. Blouin. 2011. Who are the missing parents? Grandparentage analysis identifies multiple sources of gene flow into a wild population. Molecular Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04994.x.PDF


Araki, H. and M.S. Blouin. 2005. Unbiased estimation of relative reproductive success of different groups: evaluation and correction of bias caused by parentage assignment errors. Molecular Ecology, 13:4097-4109 PDF


Blouin, M.S. 2003. DNA-based methods for pedigree reconstruction and kinship analysis in natural populations. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18: 503-511. PDF


Blouin, M.S., M. Parsons, V. Lacaille, and S. Lotz (1996) Use of microsatellite loci to classify individuals by relatedness. Molecular Ecology 5:393-401 PDF


Amphibian evolutionary and landscape genetics

Phillipsen, I., C. Funk, E. Hoffman, K. Monsen and M.S. Blouin. 2011. Comparative analyses of effective population size within and among species: ranid frogs as a case study Evolution, 11:2179-2194 PDF


Blouin, M.S., I.C. Phillipsen and K.J. Monsen. 2010. Population structure and conservation genetics of the Oregon spotted frog, Rana pretiosa. Conservation Genetics, 11:2179-2194 PDF


Phillipsen, I., J. Bowerman, M. Blouin. 2009. Effective number of breeding adults in Oregon spotted frogs ( Rana pretiosa ): genetic estimates at two life stages. Conservation Genetics doi: 10.1007/s10592-009-9862-8 PDF


Hoffman, E.A., Schueler, F.W., A.G. Jones and M.S. Blouin. 2006. An analysis of selection on a color polymorphism in the northern leopard frog. Molecular Ecology, 15:2627-2641. PDF


Hoffman, E.A., F.W. Schueler and M. S. Blouin. 2004. Effective population sizes and temporal stability of genetic structure in Rana pipiens, the Northern leopard frog. Evolution 58:2536-2545. PDF


Monsen, K.J. and M.S. Blouin. 2004. Extreme isolation by distance in the Cascades frog, Rana cascadae. Conservation Genetics 5:827-835. PDF.

Blouin, M.S. (1992) Genetic correlations among morphometric traits and rates of growth and differentiation in the green tree frog, Hyla cinerea. Evolution 46: 735-744. PDF

Blouin, M.S., and M.L.G. Loeb (1991) Effects of environmentally-induced development rate variation on head and limb morphology in the green tree frog, Hyla cinerea. American Naturalist 138: 717-728. PDF