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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Leetown, West Virginia » Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345315

Research Project: Integrated Research to Improve On-Farm Animal Health in Salmonid Aquaculture

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Selective breeding for enhance specific disease resistance: Practical considerations and potential applications

item Wiens, Gregory - Greg
item Leeds, Timothy - Tim

Submitted to: Aquaculture America Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2017
Publication Date: 2/22/2018
Citation: Wiens, G.D., Leeds, T.D. 2018. Selective breeding for enhance specific disease resistance: Practical considerations and potential applications [abstract]. Aquaculture America Conference. P-521.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Endemic infectious diseases constitute a considerable economic burden in aquaculture due to direct losses as well as indirect impacts on growth, animal welfare and transportation restriction. Host genetic variation in susceptibility to specific pathogens is present in most animal populations, especially aquatic animals due to outbred origin and short domestication history. Recent progress in high-throughput animal health phenotyping combined with quantitative genetic analysis has demonstrated the feasibility of improving disease resistance through family-based selective breeding, and more recently, through genomic selection. However, there are only a few examples of successful application of this control strategy in aquaculture and most stocks remain unselected. Salmonid fish are uniquely suitable for selective breeding as reproduction can be controlled, pedigrees can be tracked, large numbers of offspring are generated from each family, and embryo development can be temperature manipulated to synchronize hatching, thus disease resistance phenotyping can be performed using animals with similar body weight. Herein, we review progress and associated logistics of our efforts toward breeding for specific disease resistance, using as an example, results generated from the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture selective breeding program. In addition, we discuss benefits and limitations of selective breeding and how it needs to be embedded within an integrated approach for controlling disease on-farm.