"A key question of evolutionary importance is what factors influence who becomes dominant. Individual genetic variation has been found to be associated with several fitness traits, including behaviour. Could it also be a factor influencing social dominance? We investigated the association between social status and the amount of intra-individual genetic variation in juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta). Genetic variation was estimated using 12 microsatellite loci. Dominant individuals had higher mean heterozygosity than subordinates in populations with the longest hatchery background. Heterozygosity-heterozygosity correlations did not find any evidence of inbreeding; however, single-locus analysis revealed four loci that each individually differed significantly between dominant and subordinate fish, thus giving more support to local than general effect as the mechanism behind the observed association between genetic diversity and a fitness-associated trait. We did not find any significant relation between mean d(2) and social status, or internal relatedness and social status. Our results suggest that individual genetic variation can influence dominance relations, but manifestation of this phenomenon may depend on the genetic background of the population."