Start Date: Jan 11, 2005
End Date: Jan 10, 2010
A comprehensive multidisciplinary strategy utilizing quantitative genetic, physiological and molecualr biological approaches is being used to produce genetically superior strains of rainbow trout for release to trout producers, and to develop the technologies for rapid and continued innovation and improvement. The initial step in this research will be to evaluate and characterize the broodstock established at NCCCWA. Offspring from crosses of six strains of rainbow trout will be evaluated for important aquaculture production traits e.g., growth, health, and reproductive development. These data will yield estimates of additive genetic variation among and within strains of rainbow trout and provide guidance for designing selection and breeding programs for genetic improvement. We will continue development and testing of rainbow trout lines that are transgenic for disease resistance genes. Physiological research will focus on defining critical pathways, and molecules in those pathways, for economically important traits. Furthermore, animals with extreme phenotypes, identified in the quantitative genetic anaylses, will be used in physiological studies to define the critical physiological differences. Specific breeding aids such as polyploidy and sex-reversal (to produce all female lines) will be applied to select families to provide benefits to rainbow trout aquaculture. Improved lines resulting from this work will be tested under field and farm conditions to demonstrate improvements prior to release of germplasm to the trout farming industry.