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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetic Improvement in Aquaculture Still Developing

item Hershberger, William

Submitted to: Feedstuffs
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 29, 2003

Technical Abstract: In many respects the systematic genetic improvement of aquatic species is still in the formative stages of developing approaches to domestication of efficient production organisms. In addition to the fact that these species exist in an environment that is somewhat foreign to investigators dealing with agriculture animals, three major reasons are forwarded for the rather "immature" status of aquaculture genetics. These include; 1) the path by which modern aquaculture developed, 2) the impacts of addressing a multitude of "user" groups, and 3) the large number of species that are utilized in aquaculture. These factors are discussed with respect to their roles in limiting the extent of domestic strain development. In addition, they also led to a multifaceted approach to genetic investigations with aquatic species, including crossbreeding/hybridization, selection and breeding, chromosome set manipulation and gene transfer. A brief review the use of each of these techniques in aquaculture is presented as well as an assessment of its contribution to improved production. Cloning is considered as a subset of chromosome set manipulation since this is the most expeditious technique to produce clones in a number of aquaculture species. Even with the diverse goals and demands on genetic research in aquaculture, advances to this point have been relatively large, in many cases exceeding expectations based on experience from previous agricultural work. Although even more rapid progress has been constrained by a lack of some basic biological and genetic information for aquatic species, aquaculture genetics has the dual advantages of access to contemporary genetic technology and of being able to pattern its research directions on the experience gained by agriculture scientists. Consequently, advances to meet the diverse genetic needs for improvements in the aquaculture industry should be continued at a reasonable pace.

Last Modified: 3/27/2015
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