Rainbow trout resistance to bacterial cold-water disease is moderately heritable and is not adversely correlated with growth

Journal of Animal Science
Jeffrey T SilversteinV Ducrocq


The objectives of this study were to estimate the heritabilities for and genetic correlations among resistance to bacterial cold-water disease and growth traits in a population of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Bacterial cold-water disease, a chronic disease of rainbow trout, is caused by Flavobacterium psychrophilum. This bacterium also causes acute losses in young fish, known as rainbow trout fry syndrome. Selective breeding for increased disease resistance is a promising strategy that has not been widely used in aquaculture. At the same time, improving growth performance is critical for efficient production. At the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture, reducing the negative impact of diseases on rainbow trout culture and improving growth performance are primary objectives. In 2005, when fish averaged 2.4 g, 71 full-sib families were challenged with F. psychrophilum and evaluated for 21 d. Overall survival was 29.3% and family rates of survival varied from 1.5 to 72.5%. Heritability of postchallenge survival, an indicator of disease resistance, was estimated to be 0.35 +/- 0.09. Body weights at 9 and 12 mo posthatch and growth rate from 9 to 12 mo were evaluated on siblings of the fish in the disease chal...Continue Reading


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