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Resistance Against Sea Lice Inheritable

UK - Further research into the heritability of resistance to sea lice infestations is being planned following promising laboratory-based results from a pilot trial involving the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Glasgow University, the Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling, and Landcatch Natural Selection (LNS), Alloa.

The pilot trial, carried out in 2007, has shown moderate to high heritability of familial resistance to sea lice infestations in LNS stock. As a result, further work is to be undertaken in which the heritability of resistance will be examined under commercial production conditions.

"The results we’ve achieved so far are highly promising, giving good indications of the potential to use certain salmon families to breed for sea lice resistance," said Dr Karim Gharbi of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

"The next step, therefore, is to take what we’ve done in the laboratory and extend that work into the field."

LNS Operations Director, Neil Manchester, agreed: "These results are hugely encouraging. We are already hopeful that work on sea lice resistance will become part of our ongoing QTL development focus in the near future."

Ellen Hardy

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