FISHBOOST researchers present results at the World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production conference
Several researchers from FISHBOOST partners presented outputs from the project at the leading animal breeding conference which took place in Auckland, New Zealand this February. The conference, called the World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP) occurs every four years, and is generally considered premier event for researchers and professionals involved in genetic improvement of livestock (including fish). Scientists from INIA (Spain), The Roslin Institute (UK), Nofima (Norway) and Wageningen University (Netherlands) are amongst those who made FISHBOOST presentations.
Dr. Luqman Aslam from Nofima presented a paper on the genetic basis of host resistance to the parasite S. chrysophrii in farmed gilthead sea bream originating from the breeding company Andromeda. He showed that resistance to this parasite has a significant but low heritability, and also a strong negative genetic correlation with growth related traits, suggesting indirect selection. He presented a significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 17, and discussed that genomic selection using all markers can improve trait prediction by up to 23 % compared to pedigree-based methods. The research also involved scientists from Andromeda, HCMR in Greece and University of Padova in Italy.
Dr. Maria Saura from INIA discussed how new genomic information obtained in FISHBOOST for turbot has been used to refine the genetic and physical maps of this species. She presented about how genomic data also allowed us to evaluate the potential use of within-family genomic selection in turbot to improve disease resistance. She discussed the estimates of heritabilities for resilience, resistance and tolerance to the ciliate disease scuticulociliatosis, genetic correlations between these traits (all positive). Finally, she presented the identification of a QTL region for resilience that explains 33% of the genetic variance of the trait. This research also involved scientists from CETGA and GeneAqua in Spain, and The Roslin Institute, UK.
Dr. Christos Palaiokostas from The Roslin Institute discussed the use of genotyping by sequencing methods to improve disease resistance in farmed fish, taking the case studies of viral nervous necrosis in sea bass and koi herpes virus in common carp. He presented data which show convincing evidence for heritability of resistance to both these diseases, as measured by fish survival during an experimental challenge. Further, he presented the identification of genome-wide significant QTL on several chromosomes, and talked about the advantage of using the genotyping by sequencing data to improve accuracy of prediction of breeding values. These research projects also involved scientists from University of South Bohemia and the Veterinary Research Institute in the Czech Republic (carp), and Ferme Marine de Douhet, Ifremer and INRA in France (bass).
Dr. Kasper Janssen from Wageningen University presented recent work on the economic value of R0 for macroparasitic diseases, including sea lice. R0 is a disease trait that accounts for the dynamics of disease transmission and is thereby more appropriate as a breeding goal trait than measures of disease prevalence, for which the response to selection cannot be predicted from quantitative genetic theory. Costs of a disease are the sum of production losses induced by the parasites and expenditures on their control. By relating the value of R0 to losses or expenditures of a disease, its economic value can be calculated from algebraic expressions.
Dr. Osvaldo Anacleto from the Roslin Institute presented the first empirical evidence that individuals not only vary in their genetic risk of becoming infected, but also in spreading infections. This evidence was obtained from the FISHBOOST turbot disease challenge experiment, which was specifically designed to disentangle how differences in genetic resistance, tolerance and infectivity contribute to mortality rates in disease outbreaks. This research also involved scientists from INIA and CETGA in Spain.
Dr. Andrea Doeschl-Wilson from the Roslin Institute presented in her talk new opportunities for implementing resistance, tolerance and infectivity as novel disease
traits into more effective breeding programmes to reduce infectious disease spread in livestock populations.
The WCGALP conference ran from 11-16 February 2018. http://www.wcgalp2018.com/wcgalp18