The problem PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The common carp is the third most important farmed freshwater fish species in the world. Eastern European carp genebanks have been responsible for the selective improvement of carp for intensive and semi-intensive pond culture in Europe and their dissemination worldwide. Several serious disease problems such as Koi herpesvirus (KHV), and erythrodermatitis (Aeromonas salmonicida and A. hydrophila) threaten carp farming in many countries.

Selection in carp has tended to develop high performing but inbred strains for crossbreeding. The inclusion of disease and stress resistance as traits within breeding programmes will require the use of modern quantitative and molecular genetic tools. Disease resistance has proved to be a difficult trait to assess and improve in fish, direct challenges on potential broodstock run the risk of turning such fish into carriers. Functional genomics, proteomics and gene mapping will identify candidate genes and QTLs for resistant fish without a challenge. Heritability estimates for viral and bacterial resistance and genetic correlation to performance traits will be assessed. Differences in gene expression within high and low, viral and bacterial, resistance families with and without challenge will be assessed using a 20K gene carp microarray. Differences in serum/plasma protein expression and immunological parameters will also be assessed. Congruence between expression levels and protein production will provide evidence for the importance of particular genes or Gene ontologies (GO) in these processes. Progress will also be made towards development of a second generation medium resolution gene map an important tool for the future improvement of carp strains. The results from the quantitative genetic and molecular data will be modelled to inform on the optimum design of future practical breeding programmes. This information being disseminated via established international networks.

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