Submitted to: International Aquatic Animal Health Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2014
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Citation: Wiens, G.D., Leeds, T.D. 2014. Genetic improvement of disease resistance in salmonid fish using selective breeding: Overview of concepts, considerations and limitations [abstract]. International Aquatic Animal Health Symposium Proceedings. Paper No.202.
Technical Abstract: In aquaculture, endemic infectious diseases constitute a considerable economic burden due to direct losses as well as indirect impacts on growth and animal welfare. In response to infectious disease, it is well documented that host genetic variation is present in most animal populations, especially aquatic animals due to short domestication history and outbred origin. Recent progress in high-thoughput animal health phenotyping combined with quantitative genetic analysis has demonstrated the feasibility of improving disease resistance through family-based selective breeding. However, there are only a few examples of successful application of this disease control strategy. Salmonid fish are uniquely suitable for selective breeding as reproduction can be controlled, pedigree is easy to track, large numbers of offspring are generated from each family for phenotyping, and egg development can be temperature manipulated to synchronize hatching and thus disease resistance evaluation can be performed using animals with similar body weight. Herein, we review progress made toward breeding for disease resistance, using as an example, results generated from the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture selective breeding program.