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Towards selection for increased resistance to the salmon louse in Atlantic salmon

Tildelt: kr 4,4 mill.

Salmon lice on farmed Atlantic salmon (Lepeophtheirus salmonis in Norway represents a large cost for the industry and a risk for infestation of wild salmonid species. In farmed Atlantic salmon it is documented evidence of a substantial genetic variation i n the number of salmon lice in a controlled challenge test and a high genetic correlation between this number and number of lice in a field test. If this can be verified in a larger family material, the resistance in Atlantic salmon to the lice may be imp roved through selective breeding. Over time this may reduce the need for medicament treatment against the lice, reduce the risk of developing lice resistance to the medicaments and the life time of these medicaments, and reduce the infestation pressure on wild salmonid populations. We will obtain more reliable estimate of the genetic variation in resistance to L. salmonis in Atlantic salmon; investigate the magnitude of genetic correlation between resistance to the salmon lice and other economic important production traits in Atlantic salmon; Investigate if we can find biomarkers and genetic markers that can be used as predictors and thus indirect selection criteria for increased resistance to L. salmonis in Atlantic salmon; investigate if the counting of the number of lice per fish can be automatized using digital image analysis.


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