Research area

Breeding and genetics

The objective of breeding programmes is to create fish strains that are more productive in farming than can be achieved by catching wild broodstock year after year. Experience from Norwegian salmon farming shows that breeding has contributed to enhanced and more profitable production, and that it has given Norway an international competitive advantage.

Internationally, Nofimas research within selective breeding has contributed to success in tropical species like tilapia.

Molecular genetics and molecular biology have much to contribute within traditional breeding. They have the potential to increase the level of precision in the breeding programme, reduce inbreeding, enhance our understanding of complex genetics and answer important questions about sustainability and management through the tracking of genes.

Nofima Marin's research in the field of breeding and genetics shall provide fresh knowledge so that breeding programmes can be run more effectively and with a higher level of sustainability. With considerable experience and exceptionally good results to show from breeding of species such as salmon and tilapia, scientists from Nofima Marin are playing a key role on an international basis in breeding and genetics.

 

With considerable experience and exceptionally good results to show from breeding of species such as salmon and tilapia, scientists from Nofima Marin are playing a key role on an international basis in breeding and genetics Photo: Frank Gregersen, Nofima

With considerable experience and exceptionally good results to show from breeding of species such as salmon and tilapia, scientists from Nofima Marin are playing a key role on an international basis in breeding and genetics

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Research area within Breeding and genetics

Breeding goals

Nofima studies whether breeding for enhanced disease resistance influences damage by vaccine in the abdominal cavity.

Breeding goals indicate the direction of a breeding programme or in other words the characteristics specified for improvement. These may include growth, disease resistance, fillet colour etc.

Breeding programmes

Breeding programmes for tilapia have been extremely successful.

In a breeding programme, we select and mate the fish with the best genes affecting desirable characteristics. The improved fish produced by the breeding program are distributed and commercially farmed.

Molecular genetics

The use of molecular genetics in traditional breeding programmes has potential for increasing the rate of genetic improvement of many commercial characteristics in different species. Research in molecular genetics increases our knowledge about which genes control important characteristics and provides potentially useful tools for selective breeding.

Ownership to genes

The genes of these cod larvae are valuable.

Breeding companies need to protect the genetic material they create to assure a fair return from investments in genetic improvement. Fish farmers and fish breeders need access to genetic resources for food production and innovation. How should we balance protection & access - and hence stimulate innovation?

Selective breeding

Breeding involves the selection of the fish with the desired characteristics for farming as parents of the next generation

A systematic breeding programme requires selecting and reproducing individuals, such that selected characteristics of the next generation will be improved.