Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/6/2011
Publication Date: 7/13/2011
Citation: Fuller, S.A., Beck, B.H., Farmer, B.D., Mcentire, M.E., Freeman, D.W. 2011. Quantitative genetics and differential performance and gene expression of half-sib families of hybrid striped bass in communal ponds [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 89(E-Suppl 1):274/Journal of Dairy Science. 94(E-Suppl 1):274.
Technical Abstract: The US is one of the world’s largest importers of seafood. A major constraint in producing hybrid striped bass is suboptimal production efficiency due to large performance variation of fish from undomesticated brooders. The objectives of this first-year study were to determine the genetic basis of production traits for selective improvement, and RNAseq superior and inferior performing representatives to identify global expression differences and develop predictive SNP markers as part of a multi-year improvement project. Domesticated F8 white bass and F4 striped bass were bred in a partial diallel breeding design and reared in replicate family tanks until large enough to tag with a PIT tag. Thirty-two fish from each of 44 half-sib families were tagged and initial length and weight was recorded before being randomly assigned to one of four 0.04 hectare communal ponds resulting in 5632 individually tagged fingerlings. Fish were allowed to grow for 115 days prior to harvest. At harvest tags were scanned to reveal family of origin, final length and weight were taken, fish were humanely sacrificed and a liver and muscle sample were flash frozen for qPCR and RNAseq analyses. Following pond production, hybrid striped bass averaged 235.3±17.8 (SD)mm and 192.1±48.7g across all families and ponds, with a range from 110–288mm and 47.3-371.7g. Analyses of covariance demonstrated highly significant differences in length and weight of fish among different paternal and maternal half-sib families with initial weight as the covariate (P<0.0001). Estimates of heritability were high for both traits, with values for weight and length, respective, ranging from 0.74 to 0.97 for dams and 0.52 to 0.99 for sires. Liver RNAseq data are currently being analyzed from high and low performing families and individuals and SNP markers validated to identify markers for future marker assisted selection. Incorporating crossbred offspring performance into a genetic improvement program could be used to successfully produce more rapidly growing hybrid striped bass and improve the profitability of the industry.