New Zealand aquaculture selective breeding: from theory to industry application for three flagship species J.E. Symonds1, N. King1, M.D. Camara2, N.L.C. Ragg1, Z. Hilton1, S.P. Walker1, R. Roberts3, E. Malpot4, M.Preece5, P. Amer6, F. Hely6, S. Clarke7, K.G. Dodds7, M. Tate8, P. Buxton9 1Cawthorn Institute, Nelson 2DairyNZ, Hamilton 3SPATNZ, Nelson 4Moana New Zealand, Nelson 5The New Zealand King Salmon Co. Ltd, Nelson 6AbacusBio, Dunedin 7AgResearch, Invermay 8Tate and Matthews Limited, Dunedin 9Sanford, Kaitangata Aquaculture is an important primary industry for New Zealand and the three flagship species, Greenshell™ mussels (Perna canaliculus), Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), and chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), currently produce over $400 million p.a. in export revenue (aquaculture.org.nz). The aquaculture industry has set an ambitious target to increase this revenue to $1 billion by the year 2025 through a combination of expanding production of these species and developing high value premium markets for added-value products. The aquaculture industries for all three species began in the 1960-70s, but it was not until the mid-1990s that stock improvement through selective breeding was implemented. The first chinook salmon family breeding programme was established in 1994 by commercial salmon farming company Southern Ocean Seafood Ltd. The Cawthron Institute initiated a Pacific oyster breeding programme in 1999 using a combination of between- and within-family selection. Later in 2002 Cawthron produced the first GreenshellTM mussel families using wild parents and have since established a family-based breeding programme, now operated and managed by SPATnz and BreedCo Ltd. In 2007, the second largest salmon farming company, Sanford Ltd., decided to move away from mass selection and has since developed a combined between and within-family selection programme. The breeding programmes for all three species are designed so that the families are evaluated on one or more commercial farms, either in mixed family groups or as separate replicated families. The initial selection focus was improved growth and moderate to high heritabilities were estimated for the growth traits in all three species. As a result, time to harvest was significantly reduced. As the industry has developed, more emphasis has been placed on quality and yield traits and the development of multi-trait selection indices. The breeding programmes have also allowed the industry to respond effectively to new challenges, such as the mass mortalities of Pacific oysters, which first occurred in 2010 due to a highly pathogenic variant of the oyster herpes virus (OsHV-1 μ-var). Moderate heritability for resilience to the virus in lab and field challenges has led to family selection for this trait and improved survival on the farms. We are now developing genomics resources based on SNP genotyping (genotyping-by-sequencing and SNP chip approaches) to evaluate the potential benefits of genomic selection in all three species. Keywords: Families, aquaculture, selection, genomics, gain, benefits, chinook salmon, shellfish

Jane Symonds

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Aquaculture, , 1035, 2018
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