Sea Lice

BMK Genetics and the search for genes that control resistance to sea lice and SRS

At a seminar in Puerto Varas, scientists from the University of Chile and the Roslin Institute will present a research, funded by Chile and the United Kingdom, on genetics in resistance to sea lice and SNS.

Benchmark Genetics Chile SA is using genetic markers to predict which fish will be resistant to sea lice species in Chile and Europe. By examining the expression patterns of genes in resistant and susceptible fish during a sea lice challenge, scientists in Chile and the United Kingdom are discovering the location and purpose of the genes that make fish resistant or susceptible to louse. from the sea A similar process is underway to investigate the genetic basis of SRS resistance.

As part of the collaboration between the University of Chile and the Roslin Institute, two projects focused on discovering the functional genomic bases of resistance to sea lice and SRS in the Chilean salmon aquaculture to accelerate genetic progress have been carried out. This research has been short listed for the Newton Award, which recognizes research and innovation that promote economic development and social welfare in the partner countries of the Newton Fund.

Ross Houston, professor at the Roslin Institute, described the findings. “In this collaborative project, we have used the latest genomic technologies to identify specific genes underlying genetic resistance to sea lice and SRS, and to improve cost-effective methods for genomic selection. The genes that control immune function, iron availability, cell division and recognition of pathogens showed a differential expression between resistant and susceptible fish. ”

Professor José Manuel Yáñez, from the University of Chile, said “The collaboration between the University of Chile, the Roslin Institute and Benchmark Genetics Chile has helped identify the genetic basis of resistance to two of the most important diseases affecting the Chilean salmon industry, and we believe that the findings resulting from this work will help to intensify the genetic improvement aimed at generating more robust fish for production ”.

Alan Tinch, Director of Technical Services Benchmark Genetics commented: “Collaboration is of vital importance in the development of practical solutions against sea lice and other pathogens, and is an integral part of our global approach to address the main challenges in the industry aquaculture ”.

Discovering which genes control resistance to sea lice and SRS will ensure that we continue to execute effective breeding programs to produce resistant salmon for our customers,” he added.

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