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Olesen I.,432 As | Rosendal G.K.,Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2011

Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal producing sector in the world and is expected to play an important role in global food supply. Along with this growth, concerns have been raised about the environmental effects of escapees and pollution, fish welfare, and consumer health as well as the use of marine resources for producing fish feed. In this paper we present some of the major challenges salmon farming is facing today. We discuss issues of relevance to how to ensure sustainability, by focusing on animal production systems, breeding approaches, sources for feed ingredients, and genetic engineering strategies. Other crucial issues such as animal welfare, environmental quality, and ethics are elaborated with regard to relevance for the sustainability of aquaculture. Additionally, we comment on socio-economic distributive implications by intellectual property rights (IPR) strategies on access to genetic material and traceability. To improve sustainability of salmon farming we suggest that there is a need for new approaches to guide research, for identification of ethical issues, and for engaging stakeholders in resolving these challenges. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Nielsen H.M.,432 As | Olesen I.,432 As | Navrud S.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kolstad K.,432 As | Amer P.,AbacusBio Ltd
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2011

The objective of this paper is to outline challenges associated with the inclusion of welfare issues in breeding goals for farm animals and to review the currently available methodologies and discuss their potential advantages and limitations to address these challenges. The methodology for weighing production traits with respect to cost efficiency and market prices are well developed and implemented in animal breeding goals. However, these methods are inadequate in terms of assessing proper values of traits with social and ethical values such as animal welfare, because such values are unlikely to be readily available from the product prices and costs in the market. Defining breeding goals that take animal welfare and ethical concerns into account, therefore, requires new approaches. In this paper we suggest a framework and an approach for defining breeding goals, including animal welfare. The definition of breeding goals including values related to animal welfare requires a multidisciplinary approach with a combination of different methods such as profit equations, stated preference techniques, and selection index theory. In addition, a participatory approach involving different stakeholders such as breeding organizations, food authorities, farmers, and animal welfare organizations should be applied. We conclude that even though these methods provide the necessary tools for considering welfare issues in the breeding goal, the practical application of these methods is yet to be achieved. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Timmerhaus G.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Timmerhaus G.,432 As | Hanke S.T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Buchta K.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Rensing S.A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Molecular Plant | Year: 2011

Detection of cis-regulatory elements, such as transcription factor binding sites (TFBS), through utilization of ortholog conservation is possible only if genomic data from closely related organisms are available. An alternative approach is the detection of TFBS based on their overrepresentation in promoters of co-regulated genes. However, this approach usually suffers from a high rate of false-positive prediction. Here, we have conducted a case study using promoters of genes known to be strongly induced by the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) in the model plant Physcomitrella patens, a moss. Putative TFBS were detected using three de novo motif detection tools in a strict consensus approach. The resulting motifs were validated using data from microarray expression profiling and were able to predict ABA-induced genes with high specificity (90.48%) at mediocre sensitivity (33.33%). In addition, 27 genes predicted to contain ABA-responsive TFBS were validated using real-time PCR. Here, a total of 37% of the genes could be shown to be induced upon ABA treatment, while 70% were found to be regulated by ABA. We conclude that the consensus approach for motif detection using co-regulation information can be used to identify genes that are regulated under a given stimulus. In terms of evolution, we find that the ABA response has apparently been conserved since the first land plants on the level of families involved in transcriptional regulation. © 2011 The Author.

Krasnov A.,432 As | Timmerhaus G.,432 As | Timmerhaus G.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Afanasyev S.,432 As | And 2 more authors.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics | Year: 2011

The cDNA microarrays have played a major role in functional genomics of fish and contributed substantially to different areas of aquaculture research. However at present these platforms are gradually substituted with oligonucleotide microarrays (ONM), which represent the most cost-efficient, flexible, powerful and accurate tool for multiple gene expression profiling, especially in species with rich genomic resources. This paper describes the development and assessment of ONM platforms for Atlantic salmon. The process started with the establishment of a bioinformatic system, selection of a low redundancy set of nucleotide sequences providing coverage of transcriptomes of several fish species, their identification by protein products and annotations. Pilot experiments were performed to address issues that are essential for development of ONM: gene composition, quality assessment, hybridization success of homologous and heterologous probes, optimum numbers of spot replicates and processing, management and mining of gene expression data. Performance of microarrays was evaluated in two experiments with Atlantic salmon. Comparison of peripheral blood leukocytes with a mixture of other tissues was conducted for characterization of the leukocyte transcriptome. Analyses of salmon infected with different viral diseases identified virus-responsive genes that can be used as markers for diagnostics of infected status of fish. Data mining with functional annotations confirmed the relevance of these findings. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Gjerlaug-Enger E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kongsro J.,Norsvin | Odegard J.,432 As | Aass L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Vangen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Animal | Year: 2012

In this study, computed tomography (CT) technology was used to measure body composition on live pigs for breeding purposes. Norwegian Landrace (L; n = 3835) and Duroc (D; n = 3139) boars, selection candidates to be elite boars in a breeding programme, were CT-scanned between August 2008 and August 2010 as part of an ongoing testing programme at Norsvin's boar test station. Genetic parameters in the growth rate of muscle (MG), carcass fat (FG), bone (BG) and non-carcass tissue (NCG), from birth to ∼100 kg live weight, were calculated from CT data. Genetic correlations between growth of different body tissues scanned using CT, lean meat percentage (LMP) calculated from CT and more traditional production traits such as the average daily gain (ADG) from birth to 25 kg (ADG1), the ADG from 25 kg to 100 kg (ADG2) and the feed conversion ratio (FCR) from 25 kg to 100 kg were also estimated from data on the same boars. Genetic parameters were estimated based on multi-trait animal models using the average information-restricted maximum likelihood (AI-REML) methodology. The heritability estimates (s.e. = 0.04 to 0.05) for the various traits for Landrace and Duroc were as follows: MG (0.19 and 0.43), FG (0.53 and 0.59), BG (0.37 and 0.58), NCG (0.38 and 0.50), LMP (0.50 and 0.57), ADG1 (0.25 and 0.48), ADG2 (0.41 and 0.42) and FCR (0.29 and 0.42). Genetic correlations for MG with LMP were 0.55 and 0.68, and genetic correlations between MG and ADG2 were -0.06 and 0.07 for Landrace and Duroc, respectively. LMP and ADG2 were clearly unfavourably genetically correlated (L: -0.75 and D: -0.54). These results showed the difficulty in jointly improving LMP and ADG2. ADG2 was unfavourably correlated with FG (L: 0.84 and D: 0.72), thus indicating to a large extent that selection for increased growth implies selection for fatness under an ad libitum feeding regime. Selection for MG is not expected to increase ADG2, but will yield faster growth of the desired tissues and a better carcass quality. Hence, we consider MG to be a better biological trait in selection for improved productivity and carcass quality. CT is a powerful instrument in conjunction with breeding, as it combines the high accuracy of CT data with measurements taken from the selection candidates. CT also allows the selection of new traits such as real body composition, and in particular, the actual MG on living animals. © Copyright The Animal Consortium 2011.

Gjerlaug-Enger E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Aass L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Odegard J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Odegard J.,432 As | Vangen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Animal | Year: 2010

To study genetic variation in meat quality traits measured by rapid methods, data were recorded between 2005 and 2008 on samples of M. longissimus dorsi (LD) in Landrace (n = 3838) and Duroc (n = 2250) pigs included in the Norwegian pig breeding scheme. In addition, ultimate pH levels in the glycolytic LD (loin muscle) and M. gluteus medius (GM, ham muscle), and in the oxidative m. gluteus profundus (GP, ham muscle) were recorded as an extended data set (n = 16 732 and n = 7456 for Landrace and Duroc, respectively) from 1998 to 2008. Data were analysed with a multi-trait animal model using AI-REML methodology. Meat from Duroc had considerably more intramuscular fat (IMF), less moisture and protein, appeared darker with higher colour intensity and had lower drip loss than meat from Landrace. The heritability estimates (s.e. 0.01 to 0.07) for pH in LD (0.19 and 0.27 for Landrace and Duroc, respectively), GM (0.12 and 0.22) and GP (0.19 and 0.38), drip loss (0.23 and 0.33), colour values: L* (lightness) (0.41 and 0.28), a* (redness) (0.46 and 0.43), b* (yellowness) (0.31 and 0.33), IMF (0.50 and 0.62), muscle moisture (0.31 and 0.50) and muscle protein content (0.40 and 0.54) in LD all demonstrated moderate-to-high genetic variation for these traits in both breeds. Near infrared spectroscopy and EZ-DripLoss are modern technologies used in this study for the determination of chemical components and drip loss in meat. These methods gave higher heritabilities than more traditional methods used to measure these traits. The estimated genetic correlations between moisture and IMF in Duroc, and pH and drip loss in Duroc were both -0.89. Interesting differences between the two breeds in numerical value of some genetic correlations were observed, probably reflecting the differences in physiology and selection history between Landrace and Duroc. The estimated genetic correlation between drip loss and pH was much stronger in Duroc than in Landrace (-0.89 and -0.63, respectively). This might be due to the high pH in Duroc, whereas Landrace had a lower pH closer to the iso-electric point for muscle proteins. The positive genetic correlation between the L* value in meat and IMF in Duroc (0.50) was an effect of differences in visible marbling, rather than meat colour. For Landrace, this correlation was negative (-0.20). IMF content showed favourable genetic correlations to drip loss (-0.36 and -0.35 for Landrace and Duroc, respectively). Copyright © 2010 The Animal Consortium.

Casanova-Nakayama A.,University of Bern | Wenger M.,University of Bern | Burki R.,University of Bern | Eppler E.,University of Zürich | And 2 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2011

Endocrine disruption, in particular disruption by estrogen-active compounds, has been identified as an important ecotoxicological hazard in the aquatic environment. Research on the impact of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on wildlife has focused on disturbances of the reproductive system. However, there is increasing evidence that EDCs affect a variety of physiological systems other than the reproductive system. Here, we discuss if EDCs may be able to affect the immune system of fish, as this would have direct implications for individual fitness and population growth. Evidence suggesting an immunomodulatory role of estrogens in fish comes from the following findings: (a) estrogen receptors are expressed in piscine immune organs, (b) immune gene expression is modulated by estrogen exposure, and (c) pathogen susceptibility of fish increases under estrogen exposure. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Gjedrem T.,432 As | Rosseland B.O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2012

Water pH is an important factor affecting the general water quality as well as quality traits in fishes, and the magnitude of the effect varies among species. The massive and negative effect of acidification of rivers and lakes became evident during the 1960s and 1970s and caused the depletion of fish stocks in several countries in the northern hemisphere. Significant variation in tolerance to acidic water has been documented among salmonid species, and large genetic variation has been identified among strains of brown trout Salmo trutta, brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. For S. trutta, S. fontinalis and S. salar, there is considerable additive genetic variation in tolerance to acidic water, with heritabilities (h 2) ranging from 0·09 to 0·27 for dead eyed-eggs (the period most sensitive to low pH). The main reasons for depletion of freshwater fish stocks are discussed. © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Lillehammer M.,432 As | Meuwissen T.H.E.,University of Life science | Sonesson A.K.,432 As
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

Different dairy cattle breeding schemes were compared using stochastic simulations, in which the accuracy of the genomic breeding values was dependent on the structure of the breeding scheme, through the availability of new genotyped animals with phenotypic information. Most studies that predict the gain by implementing genomic selection apply a deterministic approach that requires assumptions about the accuracy of the genomic breeding values. The achieved genetic gain, when genomic selection was the only selection method to directly identify elite sires for widespread use and progeny testing was omitted, was compared with using genomic selection for preselection of young bulls for progeny testing and to a conventional progeny test scheme. The rate of inbreeding could be reduced by selecting more sires every year. Selecting 20 sires directly on their genomic breeding values gave a higher genetic gain than any progeny testing scheme, with the same rate of inbreeding as the schemes that used genomic selection for preselection of bulls before progeny testing. The genomic selection breeding schemes could reduce the rate of inbreeding and still increase genetic gain, compared with the conventional breeding scheme. Since progeny testing is expensive, the breeding scheme omitting the progeny test will be the cheapest one. Keeping the progeny test and use of genomic selection for preselection still has some advantages. It gives higher accuracy of breeding values and does not require a complete restructuring of the breeding program. Comparing at the same rate of inbreeding, using genomic selection for elite sire selection only gives a 13% increase in genetic gain, compared with using genomic selection for preselection. One way to reduce the costs of the scheme where genomic selection was used for preselection is to reduce the number of progeny tested bulls. This was here achieved without getting lower genetic gain or a higher rate of inbreeding. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.

Sonesson A.K.,432 As | Gjerde B.,432 As | Robinson N.,432 As
Aquaculture | Year: 2011

A simple selection scheme is proposed that facilitates the selection for a growth trait (GROWTH) with heritability of 0.25 and one disease trait (SURVIVAL) with heritability of 0.1 or 0.4 using a two step selection procedure. First, the scheme applies phenotypic selection for SURVIVAL among all the 10,000 candidates per generation, assuming that Nsurvival = 2500, 5000 or 7500 survived a disease challenge test. Survivors were measured for GROWTH, and the (Ngenotyped = 1000 or 2000) highest ranked were DNA genotyped for parentage testing. Second, parents were selected for GROWTH on their BLUP breeding values using optimum contribution selection, which restricted the rates of inbreeding to 1% per generation. At this second selection step, no selection for SURVIVAL was possible, because all survivors had the same phenotype for this trait and the pedigree of the dead individuals were not known. Results show that selection for SURVIVAL was very efficient for schemes with high heritability of SURVIVAL (0.4) and positive genetic correlation between the traits (0.3), and more efficient with decreasing survival rate, because of the higher intensity of selection. However, for schemes with negative correlation between the traits (- 0.3), the heritability of 0.1 of SURVIVAL was too low to get positive genetic response for SURVIVAL. Genetic gain for GROWTH and SURVIVAL was not significantly improved by increasing Ngenotyped = 1000 to 2000 for the schemes used here, i.e. genotyping 1000 individuals allowed the best possible parents to be selected for breeding when using optimum contribution selection. In conclusion, this is an efficient and very simple selection scheme for aquaculture species which can be used for specific cases where a whole production system is limited by a disease that is not transmitted from parent to offspring. The scheme may be worth considering also for vertically transmitted diseases for which the breeding candidates or their gametes can be reliably disinfected and screened before being transferred to the nucleus and the industry. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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