Aqua Gen, a member of the Erich Wesjohann (EW) Group GmBH and Center for Integrative Genomics (CIGENE) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in collaboration with Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX) announced today that they are the first to genotype more than 900,000 markers per sample from the Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar), thereby achieving the capability to implement genomic selection and improve their salmon breeding program at Aqua Gen.
Aqua Gen, a leader in selective breeding, manages a large scale selective breeding program for Atlantic salmon, a major contributor to the world's aquaculture production. Aqua Gen has also been pioneering the use of marker-assisted selection in aquaculture breeding through their highly successful QTL-innOva products. CIGENE, located at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, maintains research programs that contribute to the understanding of the biology of aquaculture and plant production, focusing in particular on the genetics of complex traits of economic and ecological significance. Aqua Gen and CIGENE partnered with Affymetrix to develop the salmon genotyping screening array which consists of 923,627 SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) markers and includes both diploid and tetraploid sequence variants. The goal of the ongoing study is to identify relevant and polymorphic high resolution markers that can be used downstream for marker trait association studies, genomic selection programs, as well as for a wide variety of applications in genetics and ecology.
“We are thrilled to have access to this first of its kind and groundbreaking marker map of the Atlantic salmon in such a short time,” said Dr. Nina Santi, Director, Research and Development at Aqua Gen. “Aqua Gen is always looking for new technologies that can assist in the development of genetic material to meet the increasing demand for cost-effective and sustainable seafood production. This high-density SNP array gives us entirely new possibilities for improving the disease resistance and robustness of farmed Atlantic salmon. In particular, we are enthusiastic about the prospects of implementing so-called genomic selection in our breeding program. This array will also facilitate the identification of causal genetic variants underlying complex traits, thus contributing greatly to our understanding of salmonid biology.”