March 5, 2019
UK scientists from the academe and the industry are collaborating on a major research that aims to boost stocks of aquaculture species that are vital to the country.
The £1.7-million (US$2.24-million) study focuses on the selective breeding of four key species with substantial economic and environmental importance for the UK: the European lobster, European flat oyster, lumpfish and Atlantic salmon, according to the University of Stirling (US), which is involved in the study.
The research team will use cutting-edge genetic sequencing technologies to identify DNA markers linked to economically important traits, such as disease resistance and growth rate. The reseachers will then use this information to help develop and apply new tools to improve breeding programmes.
"We welcome the launch of this innovative and collaborative project which will see the Institute of Aquaculture work with academic and industry partners to improve selective breeding of stocks vital to the UK aquaculture sector", said Dr Andrew Davie, a senior lecturer at Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture and a principal investigator for the project.
Davie said they will focus on the development of resources to enhance the selective breeding of lumpfish, which are produced as "cleaner fish" for biological control of sea lice in salmon farming.
The interdisciplinary consortium is led by the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute in partnership with the Stirling Institute of Aquaculture, the Universities of Aberdeen and Exeter, and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.
The industry partners involved in the study are Hendrix Genetics BV, Xelect, The National Lobster Hatchery, Tethys Oysters, Otter Ferry SeaFish and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre.