Breeding Cycle

All species of plants and animals show variation in characteristics. This variation is due to genetics and environment. In salmon, we can see that some individuals grow faster and that some individuals are more resistant to disease.

Our breeding programmes aim to identify the individuals that are genetically faster growing and more resistant to disease using conventional genetic and new genomic methods. These individuals are used as parents in each new generation to improve which better meet the needs and expectations of our customers.

Breeding Wheel 260918 Aquasur 01
  1. Starting with pedigree eggs i.e. eggs whose family history is known. These are grown in individual family tanks until fish are big enough to be individually marked with PIT tags.
  2. As fish grow through the cycle, data is collected for commercially important traits such as growth, fat content, maturation and disease resistance. Individual data is measured on breeding candidates. Test populations are sent to sea water cages for assessment in commercial conditions and for disease resistance testing in specialist facilities.
  3. Data is collated and stored in a dedicated genetic analysis database.
  4. DNA samples are taken from individual breeding candidates and test populations for Genomic Selection and Marker-Assisted Selection.
  5. The best breeding candidates are selected using individual and family information and genomic information for balanced improvement in commercially important traits. Most candidates are rejected from the breeding programme and harvested.
  6. New nucleus families are made by crossing the males and females with the highest genetic merit, taking care to minimise inbreeding by avoiding crosses of related individuals. The resulting pedigree eggs are the starting material for the next cycle.
  7. Eggs from a small number of very high merit families are used to create large dissemination groups to be hatched and grown as the females to produce commercial eggs. Males for the commercial crosses are specially selected from the nucleus.
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