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Focus On Aquatic Biotechnology

CHINA - Aquatic biotechnology is the focus of worldwide competition in aquatic science and technology, according to the outcome of a symposium in Beijing.

On 17 July, the 2011 Forum on Fishery Science and Technology: Symposium on Aquatic Biotechnology, sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, was opened in Beijing.

As introduced at the symposium, aquatic biotechnology has become not only the focus of worldwide competition in aquatic science and technology, but also the highlight of international exchange and cooperation.

This is due to its enormous value and great prospects in addressing critical scientific and technological issues for fisheries, such as breeding, reproduction regulation, disease prevention and control, germplasm resource conservation and endangered species protection, and water environment monitoring and pollution control, andaquatic biotechnology represented bygenomic research and development has developed into one of the fastest growing high-tech fields.

Zhang Xianliang, President of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, said in his remarks that although China had achieved obvious progress in the areas of:

  • functional gene screening and cloning
  • screening and application of molecular markers of important traits
  • genetic linkage mapping of aquatic animals
  • sex control and monosexual seed culture
  • molecular marker- or genetic marker-assisted selection
  • culture of embryonic stem cells of farmed aquatic animals and establishment of their cell bank

there remained a large gap between China and the world’s leading countries in terms of aquatic animals’ functional gene, development scale of key types of molecular marker, environmental genomics, comparative genomics, nutritional genomics and research on use of stem cell technology in protection of endangered aquatic species.

According to Shi Yanquan, Deputy Director General of the Department of Science, Technology and Education of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), recent years have witnessed significant progress in major genetically modified organisms (GMO) projects in China.

Specifically, 36 varieties of insect-resistant transgenic cotton have been developed, and insect-resistant transgenic rice andtransgenic phytase corn granted GMO safety certificates; a number of important genes with economic traits, such as nutritional quality, drought resistance, salinity and alkalinity tolerance, heat tolerance, and efficient use of nutrients, have been acquired, and a range of functional genes with independent intellectual property rights and important application value screened out; an array of new high-throughput precision testing techniques have been developed and a series of technical standards for GMO safety assessment and testing formulated, which has substantially improved the country’s ability to secure GMO safety; and the whole genome sequence maps of oyster and carp have been completed, indicating that China's aquaculture research has formally entered the era of genome.

the Fish Site Editor

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