Research Molecular Biologist
Indirect selection for traits such as carcass yield and disease resistance can be more efficient if we know which regions of the catfish genome control these traits. Accordingly, we are striving to identify these genomic regions by developing a high resolution genetic map and eventually producing a draft sequence of the catfish genome. We are currently working to identify large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the genome and adding them to the current genetic map comprised primarily of short tandem repeat markers. The high resolution map will permit association of genomic sequences, via genetic markers, with performance so that we can efficiently identify broodstock with high genetic potential. We have developed and now use DNA-based identification of catfish in order to produce pedigreed research populations. Identification of catfish individuals and families allows us to co-culture catfish at a young age, and this reduces environmental effects that confound estimates of genetic potential.