The battle against salmon lice can only be won by using a combination of preventative and treatment methods. Breeding and genetics is one of the few methods that increase the fish’s resistance against lice throughout the whole production cycle. Reduced risk of lice infection, robust fish that tolerate handling and a short production time in the sea are important contributors that are made possible by the use of new breeding technologies.
GEN-innOva® GAIN is a new product from AquaGen that utilises two different selection methods to increase lice-resistance: QTL selection and genomic selection.
QTL for lice susceptibility
Based on gene testing of 4000 lice-challenged fish AquaGen has found a QTL for lice susceptibility (QTL-innOva® LICE). This QTL is over-represented in fish that have high lice numbers, those we could call lice-attractors (Figure 1). By genotyping broodfish and removing fish with the undesirable QTL from breeding and egg production, the result is a lower proportion of highly susceptible fish in cages. The next generation, without the lice susceptible QTL will thus be overall more resistant to lice infection.