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HAVBRUKS-Havbruk - en næring i vekst

Application of genomics tools and resources to selective breeding for improved disease resistance and animal welfare in fish

Awarded: NOK 6.4 mill.

Disease poses probably the greatest worldwide risk to the success of intensive aquaculture both through its effects on production and animal welfare. An animals resistance to or tolerance of disease can in some instances be improved through selective bree ding or with treatment such as vaccines, drugs or chemotherapeutants. However there are a number of problems with the current methodology used including issues with fish welfare and food safety. New tools and effective application of the latest technolog ies are needed. One technology with potential application to selective breeding is high throughput gene expression profiling. Two possibilities exist for the use of gene expression profiles with selective breeding. First, they can be used to discover gene s affecting particular traits or involved in particular processes and could be further developed into tests for gene-assisted selection. The second possibility is to use the expression profile as a tool/marker for selective breeding. This project aims to develop new tools that will replace disease challenge testing and allow direct testing and selection of the most disease resistant individuals. We will search for characteristic gene expression profile changes for cells in-vitro that are indicative of an animals resistance or susceptibility to infectious salmon anaemia or salmon louse infection, develop methods to apply such information as part of a selective breeding program and undertake a proof-of-concept experiment to test the tools and methodology d eveloped. If effective, the tools and methodology developed for salmonids could be extended to other aquaculture species. Disease is a worldwide problem for intensive aquaculture so the results of this project will be of major significance to aquaculture industries worldwide and could dramatically improve the sustainability, yield and profitability of the industry.

Funding scheme:

HAVBRUKS-Havbruk - en næring i vekst