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Gene Technology And Selective Breeding Improve Carp Welfare

by the Fish Site Editor
07 April 2006, at 1:00am

NORWAY - AKVAFORSK will participate in a new EU project intended to make carp less susceptible to disease and stress. Methods in gene technology will be used in selective breeding so that the carps' good genes are passed on more effectively. This has never been tried before in carp.

Gene technology and selective breeding improve carp welfare - NORWAY - AKVAFORSK will participate in a new EU project intended to make carp less susceptible to disease and stress. Methods in gene technology will be used in selective breeding so that the carps' good genes are passed on more effectively. This has never been tried before in carp.

New way of conducting selective breeding

After the carp genes are mapped out, we will be able to recognise the gene profiles of fish with various characteristics. We can then identify the fish that demonstrate high resistance to disease without testing disease resistance in practice. This will be a valuable addition to the selective breeding programme for carp. This knowledge will come to practical use by implementing it a selective breeding programme.

Combining biotechnology with traditional breeding methods for carp is a completely new approach. Kari Kolstad, head of the breeding and genetics division of AKVAFORSK, is responsible for AKVAFORSKs contribution in the breeding programme. "We will design this is such a way so that the methods in biotechnology are used as effectively as possible. We will do this by developing new experimental and statistical methods for the combination of gene technology and traditional breeding." Through this project the researchers hope to gain valuable information about the biological processes that make one fish more disease resistant than another. This information can lead to the development of alternative tests or vaccines.

AKVAFORSK has already begun to establish a selective breeding programme for carp in Serbia, and knowledge gained from the EU project will be used in this programme.

A worldwide species

Carp is one of the most important fish species in the world, both in terms of volume and value. Annually throughout the world, carp is produced at a value of NOK 123 billion. In Europe carp is the next most widespread species in aquaculture after rainbow trout. To date little has been done in the field of genetics to improve the health of carp, despite several threatening diseases in Eastern Europe.

EuroCarp is directed by Zsigmond Jeney of HAKI, a Hungarian research institute, and has partners in Great Britain and Russia as well as Norway. In addition to the EU, the Research Council of Norway is funding the portion of the project being conducted by AKVAFORSK.

Contact person:
Kari Kolstad, Research Group manager Genetics and Breeding
Tel: +47 6494 8095
kari.kolstad@akvaforsk.no

Source: AKVAFORSK Institute of Aquaculture Research - 7th April 2006

the Fish Site Editor