Achieve accelerated genetic progress in trout farming through access to more sophisticated tools and immense data handling capacity.
Genetics is the study of how traits are passed from one generation to the next. Passing of genetic information from parent to offspring is known as heredity, and offspring receive half of their genetic material from each parent through DNA molecules in the sperm and egg. DNA inside the sperm and egg is arranged into chromosomes each containing a set of genes, or small segments of DNA that code for the production of specific proteins inside the cell and organism. The genetic material received from the parents helps determine the physical characteristics exhibited by the offspring.
Variations in DNA sequences inside a specific gene can affect form and function of the protein it produces, ultimately affecting the phenotype. Each individual has a unique DNA sequence resulting in unique physical characteristics. In a large population with abundant genetic diversity, there will generally be many different gene combinations that lead to a wide variety of phenotypes (the set of observable characteristics or traits of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment). Selective breeding takes advantage of the genetic diversity by measuring important characteristics in the breeding population and selecting the best animals to produce the next generation. Practiced over many generations, selective breeding can significantly increase performance in economically important traits and improve the efficiency of animal rearing.
Genetic progress (continual genetic improvement) is achieved by using the following equation called the breeders equation:
Where Δg represents the rate of genetic progress, r = selection accuracy, i = selection intensity, σ = genetic variation and L is the generation interval of the species.
The ability to accurately predict the performance of offspring (r = selection accuracy) has changed over the years as technology advances. The type of data and method used for predictions can significantly influence the speed of genetic progress. Methods of selection include:
Figure 1: Traditional Selection
Figure 2: Genomic Selection