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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

CAIRD E. REXROAD

Center Director & Research Leader

 

USDA-ARS-NCCCWA

11861 Leetown Road

Kearneysville, WV 25430

Voice: (304) 724-8340 x2101

 

Professional Biographical Information:

2008 – Present           Research Leader and Center Director, USDA/ARS/NCCCWA

2008 – Present           USDA NRSP8 Aquaculture Genome Co-Coordinator

2001 – Present           Adjunct Faculty, West Virginia University

2000 – 2008                Molecular Biologist, USDA/ARS/NCCCWA

1998 – 1999                Post Doctoral Research Associate, USDA/ARS/MARC

1994 – 1998                Ph.D. in Genetics, Texas A&M University

Advisor: Dr. James E. Womack

1989 -1993                  B.S. in Biology, Abilene Christian University

 

Affiliations:

United States Trout Farmers Association

West Virginia Aquaculture Association

World Aquaculture Society

American Fisheries Society

International Society of Animal Genetics

 

Description of Research Interests:

The major constraint to increasing the production efficiency of the US rainbow trout aquaculture industry is the lack of genetically improved strains of fish for aquaculture.  Although this species has a long history of culture, most genetic research has emphasized application to natural resource enhancement with little attention to the needs of commercial aquaculture.  Consequently, there is only limited genetic information on traits that will enhance production efficiency and yield a better quality fish. 

 

The standard approach for strain development in agricultural animals has been selection and breeding utilizing genetic information from quantitative genetic analyses.  With the development of genomic technologies, equivalent or greater gains in production traits can be realized in a much shorter period of time.  In the process, a biological understanding of the genes that play a role in traits of interest is obtained.  To this end my focus is the development of genomic tools and technologies for rainbow trout that will facilitate selective breeding for aquaculture production efficiency through marker assisted selection, genomic selection, and other molecular genetic applications such as parentage assignment, population genetic analyses, etc...  Activities include development of genetic markers, genetic maps, comparative maps, identification and characterization of expressed sequence tags in support of functional genomics, characterization of candidate genes, creation of bacterial artificial chromosome libraries, and working with international collaborators towards a whole genome sequence for this species. 

Last Modified: 12/7/2009