SERVICES

At the Aquaculture Genetics Solutions (AGS), a sub-division of the Aquaculture Genomics Lab, we offer a vast expertise in genetic improvement programs and support for collaborative research studies in a broad range of aquaculture species.

Genetic improvement consulting services

Breeding objectives and selection criteria

Identification of the desirable traits to be included into the breeding goal based on an economic analysis aimed at increasing profitability of each specific operation.

Economic index for multi-trait genetic selection

Construction of multi-trait genetic evaluation systems to simultaneously improve more than one trait to maximize profitability.

Phenotyping and pedigree recording strategy

Definition of the phenotyping strategies for growth, carcass quality and robustness traits within the context of the company´s operation. Coordination of data collection and database development.

Routine genetic evaluations

Estimation of genetic parameters (heritabilities and genetic correlations), estimation of genetic merit of breeders by means of breeding value (EBVs) calculations using best linear unbiased (BLUP) methodologies, identification of best mates and reporting genetic gain and inbreeding levels on each generation.

Design of breeding plans and multiplication schemes

To maximize the genetic gain on each generation and accelerate the dissemination of superior genetics to production.

Molecular-assisted mass selection schemes

Implementation of mass selection schemes assisted by molecular markers to maximize genetic gain and maintain genetic diversity and inbreeding.

Benchmarking assays

Design and implementation and analysis of benchmarking activities to evaluate the results from the genetic improvement program.

Bio-banking

Consultancy services on archiving genetic material.

Genomics Services

Genetic characterization of broodstock

Based on customized low-density SNP panels we can estimate:

  • Relatedness between individuals.
  • Inbreeding and inbreeding depression.
  • Genetic variability and diversity.
  • Genetic differentiation between lines.

To give advice on including new genetic material, minimize the probability of inbreeding depression and reduced genetic variability/diversity (deformities and decreased reproductive performance).

Molecular markers

Development of customized high- and low-density single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) arrays (96 to 1 million SNPs) for efficient genotyping in any aquaculture species.

Genome-wide association studies

Identification of molecular markers or QTLs (Quantitative trait loci) affecting economically important traits (growth, carcass yield, disease resistance, late maturity and sex determination) for the implementation of marker-assisted selection.

Genomic Selection

Design and implementation of genomic selection schemes for to accelerate genetic progress for traits which are difficult to measure in the selection candidates (e.g. carcass quality and disease resistance traits).

Pedigree reconstruction and parentage assignment

Family assignment of individuals for genetic evaluations to predict the genetic merit of breeders if they have not been physically tagged during early stages.

Imputation strategies for low cost genomic applications

Implementation of low-cost GWAs and genomic selection schemes by means of the use of low-density SNP panels and the development of efficient imputation strategies.

High-throughput sequencing assays

Support in the design and analysis of whole-genome sequencing and genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) experiments in a broad range of applications.

Global gene expression

Support in the design and analysis of whole-transcriptome sequencing, nutrigenomics and quantitative PCR experiments.

Other Services

Technical visits

Supervision of phenotyping, tagging, mating and experimental assays.

Statistics and modelling analyses

Support on design and data analysis for experimental and observational studies aimed at improving production efficiency.

Training

Courses, lectures and seminars to train personnel on genetic improvement methodologies applied to aquaculture.

Scientific and technical support

Support for the application to competitive grants to get complementary funding to carry out different R&D activities related to genetics and genomics.