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February 25, 2015


Genetic Markers Used to Combat Whitespot


Researchers have recently discovered genetic markers that determine how giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) resist the whitespot virus, and they are planning to look for the same genes in the white shrimp (P. vannamei).


One of the researchers, Nicholas Robinson, with the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima), said, “Now that these markers have been found in the tiger shrimp, it will be possible to select for higher immunity to the disease in the next generation by implementing what is known as ‘marker-assisted selection’ into an advanced breeding program.  Since the generation time of the shrimp is short, we can expect a clear effect within a few years.  ...We are now in the process of starting a project for the white shrimp with the same goals—to discover genetic tools that can reduce a disease that is widespread in shrimp aquaculture.”


This is the first extensive experiment in which gene markers related to disease have been found in shrimp.  The research was carried out by Nofima and the Indian Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), and financed by the Research Council of Norway and the Indian Department of Biotechnology.


In addition to finding markers for disease resistance in the giant tiger shrimp, the scientists have also found markers for genes that determine sex.  The gene markers for sex could assist hatcheries to produce exclusively female shrimp.  Male shrimp are smaller and don’t grow as fast as females, so the discovery of sex-determining markers would allow breeding centers to produce healthier shrimp that grow more rapidly.


Information: Nicholas Robinson, Nofima, Muninbakken 9-13, Breivika, P.O. Box 6122 Langnes, NO-9291 Tromsø, Norway (phone +47-77-62-90-00, email, webpage


Source: FIS United States (  Gene Markers Could Help Combat WSSV in White Shrimp.  February 25, 2015.

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