Start Date: Jun 29, 2009
End Date: Jun 28, 2014
1) Continue cooperative efforts to genetically improve yellow perch broodstocks and perform limited germplasm releases with stakeholders (UWM-SFS). We will initiate discussions with the Ohio State University regarding scientific avenues for collaboration to evaluate genetically improved yellow perch. As part of a limited germplasm release using excess F3 broodstock and F4 progeny, we will work with stakeholders to perform on-farm selection. We will also produce and evaluate F4 Choptank and Perquimans broodstocks. For selected stakeholders we will complete 20-40 pair-wise crosses per participant from the F3 broodstock strains and transfer the fertilized F4 egg ribbons for performance evaluation and on-farm selection at different commercial sites. Excess F3 broodstock will be transferred to a single commercial site (Bell Aquaculture). For limited germplasm releases UWM will work cooperatively and efficiently with ARS to develop required agreements (MTRA or CRADA) to document technology transfer. 2) Investigate the use of specialty micro-diets (SMD) and live-diets for the production of high-quality perch fingerlings and initiate evaluation of diets for cost-effective grow out of perch fingerlings (UWM-SFS). We will use Otohime & Reed Mariculture SMDs to improve yellow perch larval and fingerling survival to identify a substitution to live diets, which will support commercial fingerling production. Controlled, replicate studies will use progeny from F3 broodstock. The first-feeding progeny from these broodstocks will be presented with the specialty micro-diets, with development-based adjustments over a period of 42 days. Production costs will be estimated to develop an informative model that will be evaluated at a commercial site. 3) StaRT-PCR Technology Transfer: (UT): Actively engage USDA agencies APHIS & ARS in technology transfer. University of Toledo (UT) should provide USDA with the StarRT-PCR IP under a research-only license that enables USDA agencies APHIS & ARS to use the StaRT-PCR assay and derivatives for research and evaluation purposes without conflict or licensing fees. Subject to negotiation of the actual terms any improvements to the technology made by USDA should be transferred to UT but be available at no cost to USDA for any purpose. All improvements by UT resulting from further funding by USDA will similarly be made available under the license. 4) VHSv Assay Refinement (UT): Optimize and simplify the use of SMIS in quantitative VHSv pathogen assays. Characterize optimal SMIS ratio ranges to enable better transferability of the StaRT-PCR technology to other labs within a 10^2 to 10^6 molecule range that correspond to the early stages of VHS infection. 5) VHSv Mutagenicity and Pathogenicity Evaluation (UT): Characterize how VHSv proteins and newly identified mutations affect virulence and pathogenicity in fish cell lines. We will use EPC cell lines that have been transiently transfected with VHSv proteins and mutations to evaluate viral replication and the host viral detection and response pathways.