About the project
We have completed a first - full genome - reference sequence of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) that will become publicly available within the next 6 months. In order to exploit this genome providing explicit benefit to the Norwegian community, we propose to take the cod genome sequence to the next level and translate this sequence into genomic tools for cod aquaculture. First, we will improve the cod reference sequence by linking the current sequence to chromosomes and by extending the first annotation. An extended annotation will improve the biological relevance of the genome, making it a more useful tool for cod aquaculture. Second, using this improved version of the genome, we will re-sequence and scan the genomes of multiple individuals of cod, characterizing genome-wide functional genomic variation. We will focus on traits important for cod aquaculture; among others, age at maturity, growth rates and disease resistance. Providing direct links to cod aquaculture, we will evaluate variation in these traits in the particular breeding stocks that are used for cod breeding. Third, our analysis of the cod reference genome has revealed that cod lack MHC class II genes. So far, cod is the only known vertebrate that lacks this important set of genes. This discovery may have profound implications for the development of vaccines and medications that are important in cod aquaculture. We aim to fully characterize the unique MHC system in cod, which will simultaneously stimulate the targeted development of vaccines preventing bouts of disease in cod aquaculture.
This project funded by The Research Council of Norway.
1.3.2010 - 31.05.2015