Aqua Genome Project
Creating a sustainable basis for aquaculture and fisheries management of Atlantic salmon and cod by studying the genetic basis
About the project
Aquaculture and fisheries of Atlantic salmon and cod face considerable future challenges from factors including disease, climate change, and product quality. This proposal aims to create a foundation for sustainable production of these species through dissecting the genetic basis of observed phenotypic variation, and gaining a deep understanding of how the genomes are influenced by artificial selection and the environment.
Utilizing and further developing the resources and competence of the FUGE programme through the national platforms for genotyping (CIGENE), sequencing (NSC) and the GenoFisk Consortium, we aim to exploit the vast potential that the salmon and cod reference genome sequences now offer.
Specifically, this project will utilize the latest high-throughput sequencing technologies to generate a comprehensive genetic database for cod and salmon by re-sequencing 1000 individuals of each species representing a broad range of aquaculture stocks, phenotypes and wild populations.
The identified sequence variation will be combined with extensive datasets from genome scans to target candidate genes underlying economically important traits. Landscape genomic approaches will utilise high-resolution environmental data to identify genomic regions and genes under selection in the natural environment. Environmental effects on phenotypic plasticity and epigenetic processes will be investigated through experimentally comparing global methylation patterns.
Finally, transcriptome profiling and a range of functional tests will be performed in order to pinpoint the mode of action and extent of phenotypic influence of key genes identified by the connected work packages.
As a whole, the project will make a dramatic contribution to bridging the genotype-phenotype gap for traits of importance for aquaculture and will significantly increase our understanding of how these species adapt to the broad spectrum of natural environmental variation and anthropogenic factors.
Start: 1.1.2013. End: 30.04.2018.