Xelect Maintains Strong Focus on R&D

12 September 2016, at 1:00am

UK - Xelect was founded on a core principle to bring effective genetic technology to the global aquaculture industry. The University of St Andrews spin-out was launched in 2012, to commercialise decades of research in fish physiology by Prof. Ian Johnston and patented genetic technology from the doctoral research of Tom Ashton.

Following a recent round of investment and licencing success, Xelect is expanding its R&D programme and is working with industry partners to develop genetic markers for resistance to parasites and other pathogens affecting aquaculture.

The research is based on academic understanding of biological processes governing resistance to several pathogen types, and promises to deliver powerful tools for selective breeding, providing a sustainable solution to one of aquaculture’s greatest challenges.

Xelect is also participating in SAIC funded research into genetic tools for mussel hatcheries, and EU H2020 funded research programme (EMBRIC) developing genomic tools for aquaculture. They co-sponsor a PhD at University of Aberdeen, on cutting-edge Copy Number Variation in the salmon genome, with huge commercial potential to selectively influence quantitative traits.

The first Xelect markers were associated with valuable gains in fillet yield of Atlantic salmon, Nile tilapia and rainbow trout. Subsequent research, funded by Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise identified a powerful suite of markers capable of selecting fish with high muscle fibre density, a highly variable parameter with strong influence over growth and fillet quality.

Come and speak to Xelect at EAS Aquaculture Europe 2016 in Edinburgh.