Breeding And Genetics

In Norway, extensive breeding experiments with Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout were started in 1971.[9] In 1975, the first breeding program for Atlantic salmon was established. For the first two generations of selection, the breeding goal was growth rate. With an increase in growth of 14% in each generation of selection,1-10-1 after seven generations of selection, the time needed to reach slaughter weight is now halved. The fresh water period has decreased from 16 to eight months, while the grow-out period in sea has decreased from 24 to 12 months. This has resulted in a considerable reduction in production costs, mainly through improved feed efficiency. Domestication is also an important consequence of selective breeding by selecting the highest performing individuals in each generation under famed conditions. The breeding goal is now more complex in accordance with environmental challenges and demands in the market. Characteristics such as age at sexual maturation, meat quality (fat percentage and distribution and flesh color), and disease resistance are important parts of the breeding goal. The breeding program has, from the start, been based on family selection, utilizing family information to select breeding candidates. This selection method has proven to be the most efficient in Atlantic salmon.[11] It is expected that knowledge from extensive research in the area of molecular genetics can be applied in future breeding programs.1-12-1 Molecular information connected to important traits may be utilized to increase genetic progress. Further, the use of microsatellite DNA profiling for family identification may be possible in the future, which represents a major advance in selective breeding of aquatic species, allowing different family groups to be kept in a common tank from fertilization onward.

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