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A genetic approach to improving FCRs

19 June 2019, at 4:20pm

The efficacy of a new technology that has the potential to predict the feed conversion rate (FCR) of individual rainbow trout is being tested in a study that could improve the feed conversion efficiency in the trout sector.

The study is being undertaken by Hendrix Genetics and GenetiRate, a US based start-up, which has developed an innovative technology that can predict FCRs based on metabolic rates measured on fish larvae or muscle tissue.

GenetiRate was founded by Dr Benjamin Renquist from the University of Arizona and recently won the Seafood Innovation Award at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum. It has run successful trials using their technology with other aquatic species. If successful, the project will allow Hendrix Genetics to select individual trout with the best metabolic rates and FCRs.

“We are excited to begin these trials to understand how our selection process can be applied to improve both growth and feed efficiency in rainbow trout. We appreciate that Hendrix Genetics recognizes the value in applying our technology to better serve their customers’ needs. By improving feed efficiency, GenetiRate and Hendrix Genetics Aquaculture aim to help the aquaculture industry meet the sustainability demands of the consumer at the restaurant or grocery store,” says Dr Renquist.

Dr Ben Renquist, founder of GenetiRate
Dr Ben Renquist, founder of GenetiRate

Robbert Blonk, director of R&D at Hendrix, states, “Feed conversion is notoriously difficult to measure on an individual level in aquaculture species. However, this new technology allows us to measure individual feed conversion and thus improve efficiency of the Troutlodge breeding stock. Ultimately, this translates into an improved final product with increased profitability and sustainability for the entire industry.”

The project is set to start soon, with a review of the results scheduled to occur at the end of 2020. This collaboration using innovative technology to study Troutlodge breeding stock has the potential to make significant genetic progress for our customers and the industry.