Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research
Project Number: 1930-31000-011-00
Start Date: Jan 11, 2010
End Date: Jan 10, 2015
With the rapid growth of the human population and the increasing consumption of seafood for health considerations, the world demand for seafood products is mounting rapidly. To this end many countries have turned their attention to various forms of intensive aquaculture production. However, intensive aquaculture has brought about several negative impacts such as increasing disease outbreak incidences and decreasing the quality and nutritional value of fish flesh, resulting in significant economic losses. The application of modern molecular biological technologies including genomics and proteomics will enhance efforts to resolve these problems. We have developed transgenic trout carrying disease resistance genes known as cecropins: these fish exhibit resistance to infection by pathogens affecting aquaculture production including Aeromonas salmonicida and infectious hepatic necrosis virus (IHNV). Using disease resistant transgenic fish and new strains capable of accumulating higher levels of astaxanthin in the flesh as experimental models, we propose to identify and characterize specific pathways and genes leading to increased disease resistance and improved flesh color and nutritional quality. Genes identified from these studies will be characterized for their potential in developing superior broodstock through selective breeding.