In recent times there has been a lot of feedback from players in the farming industry that despite increasing levels of astaxanthin in feed, it has been difficult to achieve satisfactory pigment levels in salmon fillet.
Astaxanthin is not just cosmetic, it is also a strong antioxidant that has positive health benefits for both salmon and humans.
AquaGen has, for many years had fillet colour as one of the breeding goals. Now, with the assistance of specially developed genotyping tools, selection can be carried out much faster and more precisely than traditional family based breeding methods.
Three QTLs linked to colour were found that have the effect of a stronger and more consistent colour in the fillet. The QTLs increase absorption of, and reduce breakdown of astaxanthin in the intestine. Updated documentation of QTL-innOva® RED can be read here
Healthier hearts give more robust salmon
The heart disease CMS has, in the last four years, been seen to increase by the number of registered outbreaks in the Norwegian aquaculture industry.
Based on CMS field outbreaks and an infection challenge in the laboratory, AquaGen has found and validated a strong genetic marker (QTL) that gives protection against CMS.
It has been documented that fish with the CMS-QTL have lower virus levels in the heart, reduced heart damage and lower mortality due to a CMS outbreak. This means that the fish will be more robust and better able to cope with being transported and handled.
The first groups of fish that were selected to have the QTL for CMS were transferred to sea in the autumn of 2014. They were transferred to two commercial sites that had a history of CMS outbreaks.
Now, 8.5 months post-transfer the experience to date is that the fish have shown very good growth, and that they have already recorded better survival in comparison to fish that don’t possess the gene-marker. We eagerly continue to follow these stocks, and experiences from more sites will later give a more complete picture of performance in the field. Read more about QTL-innOva® CMS here