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

FAX: 541-737-0501,


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 lab has two main areas of research:

(1) We study the transmission of schistosomiasis, a serious parasitic disease of humans in tropical regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The parasite is a trematode that uses aquatic snails as an obligatory intermediate host. We use genome-wide mapping methods to identify regions of the snail genome at which allelic variation controls resistance to infection by schistosomes. We are studying the function of genes we recently identified, and continuing to map new loci. Our goal is to understand the molecular interactions between snails and schistosomes, and use that information to find novel ways to break transmission of the parasite at the snail stage of the life cycle. This includes potentially using resistance genes to make snail populations in transmission zones unable to transmit the parasite.

(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.

Previous research interests included population genetic structure in helminth parasites (nematodes and trematodes), molecular evolution of disease resistance loci, and methods for pedigree reconstruction in natural populations.

Example Publications: See also (COMPLETE LIST OF REFERENCES)

snail and schistosome genetics


Allan, ERO and MS Blouin. 2018. Allelic variation partially regulates galactose-dependent hydrogen peroxide release from circulating hemocytes of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Fish and Shellfish Immunology 72: 111-116 LINK


Allan, ERO, B. Gourbal, CB Dores, A. Portet, CJ Bayne and MS Blouin. 2018. Clearance of schistosome parasites by resistant genotypes at a single genomic region in Biomphalaria glabrata snails involves cellular components of the hemolymph. International Journal for Parasitology 48(5):387-393 LINK


Allan, ERO, JA Tennessen, TJ Sharpton and MS Blouin. 2018. Allelic variation in a single genomic region alters the microbiome of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Journal of Heredity doi: 10.1093/jhered/esy014 LINK


Tennessen, JA, SR Bollmann and MS Blouin. 2017. A Targeted Capture Linkage Map Anchors the Genome of the Schistosomiasis Vector Snail, Biomphalaria glabrata G3: GENES, GENOMES, GENETICS 7 no. 7 2353-2361 LINK


Allen, ERO, JA Tennessen, SR Bollman, PC Hanington, CG Bayne and MS Blouin. 2017 Schistosome defense in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, is partially dependent on the expression of Grctm6, a Guadeloupe Resistance Complex protein. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. LINK


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 LINK


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 LINK


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


Fitness in steelhead and salmon, effects of captive breeding


Christie, MR, GG McNickle, RA French and MS Blouin. 2018. Life history variation is maintained by fitness trade-offs and negative frequency dependent selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA LINK


Thompson, NF, B Clemens, L Ketchum, P Simpson, R Reagan and MS Blouin. 2018. Family influence on length at release and size-biased survival post release in hatchery-reared steelhead: a mechanism to explain how domestication occurs. Aquaculture 491:135-146 LINK


Thompson NF, Blouin MS. 2016. Family dominance level measured during the fry stage weakly influences family length at smolting in hatchery reared steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 145: 1282-1289. LINK


Thompson, NF, M Christie, M. Marine, L. Curtis and M.S. Blouin. 2016 Spawn date explains variation in growth rate among families of hatchery reared Hood River steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Biology of fishes 99:581-591. LINK


Christie, MR, ML Marine, SE Fox, RA French and MS Blouin. 2015. A single generation of domestication heritably alters expression at hundreds of genes. Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms10676 LINK


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 PDF


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 and M.S. Blouin. 2011. Genetic adaptation to captivity can occur in a single generation Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 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

parasite population genetics and molecular evolution


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 LINK


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

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