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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Approaches for Improving Aquatic Animal Health in Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Applying Selective Breeding And Vaccination To Improve Fish Health


Submitted to: Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2010
Publication Date: May 24, 2010
Citation: Wiens, G.D. 2010. Applying Selective Breeding And Vaccination To Improve Fish Health. Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop. p.23-24

Technical Abstract: Infectious disease causes substantial economic loss in aquaculture. In an effort to reduce loss, selective breeding of animals with superior disease resistance is being increasingly utilized as a component within fish health management plans. Selective breeding is especially applicable to salmonid fish due to control of reproduction, high fecundity, and the ability to synchronize egg development using water temperature manipulation. These factors allow the simultaneous evaluation of a large number of fish crosses at similar developmental stage. Efforts at the NCCCWA have focused on selective breeding of rainbow trout for increased resistance to bacterial cold water disease. Fish survival was evaluated for 21 days following injection challenge of Flavobacterium psychrophilum strain CSF259-93. Following two generations of selection, survival was increased ~45% as compared to reference lines. Recently, my research has focused on whether the resistance of select-line fish is broad-based against challenge with diverse F. psychrophilum strains. I will discuss PCR typing and whole-genome mapping techniques used to characterize F. psychrophilum genetic variation and the relative resistance of select-line fish to these variants. Preliminary data indicate that vaccination can be combined with selective breeding to induce additive protection. Altering both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune response may be necessary to engineer broad-based resistance against pathogens with high genetic diversity.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014