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Research and Development

R&D in Benchmark Genetics

Benchmark Genetics has an international team of researchers and geneticists sharing knowledge, experience and technology with solve local biological challenges and increase productivity in salmonids and other farmed fish. The success of our breeding programmes for different species in diverse markets depends on applying world-class science to the needs and expectations at a local level. R&D projects which develop technology for one species and market often provide an opportunity for application in others. Benchmark’s customers in Atlantic Salmon benefit from the sharing of technology between Europe and Chile.

Benchmark Genetics are also working in close collaboration with world leading research institutions such as the Universidad de Chile, Institute (Norway) and the Norwegian Research Fund.

Disease Resistance

All families of each year-class are tested for resistance to commercially important pathogens such as SRS and Caligus in controlled conditions. The tests generate information used in family selection and GS to identify individuals with high resistance to disease for use in breeding. With data from Norway, Iceland and Chile covering all of the major commercial diseases, Benchmark can apply GS in each programme for the range of disease challenges that are important in each market.

Research Projects

Benchmark and BGCL will continue to develop genetic technology to deal with the commercially important issues in each market, in particular resistance to emerging disease such as CMS and HSMI.

Collaboration in research is an important aspect of research to develop new genetic and genomic technologies. In areas such as sea lice resistance, species of the parasite differ between markets and salmonid species vary in resistance. Collaboration is therefore essential between international researchers and global, multi-species companies. Recent collaborative work between AquaInnovo (now Benchmark Genetics Chile), The Roslin Institute, UK and the Universidad de Chile is identifying genes in salmon skin that control Caligus resistance for use in breeding or identifying new treatments.

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