Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) is a disease that causes substantial economic loss and animal welfare problems in farming of salmonids. In Atlantic salmon, outbreaks of the disease can cause up to 20 % mortality at affected sites, and morbidity is frequently close to 100 %, resulting in under-sized fish and poor product quality. Aiming at the identification of DNA markers to be used in marker-assisted selection (MAS), we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on resistance to HSMI. Histopathology scores and CT-values for an infection-correlated gene were used as traits, and genotypes were obtained using a custom Affymetrix 50k SNP-chip for Atlantic salmon. The scan revealed that the trait is largely under the control of two major QTL, located on two chromosomes. The two QTL were responsible for more than 25 % of the phenotypic variation in histopathology scores, and almost 10 % of the phenotypic variation in CT-values, indicating a substantial potential for genetic improvement by means of MAS.

Thomas Moen, Vibeke Emilsen, Torkjel Bruheim, Sven Arild Korsvoll, Sissel Kjøglum, Nina Santi

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Disease Resistance 3, , 933, 2018
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