Martec (a leading player in Central American aquaculture) and independent genetics experts Xelect have recently announced a new partnership to create the first large-scale genetic breeding programme for Spotted Rose Snapper (Lutjanus guttatus).
Martec are a fully integrated, BAP Certified producer, based in the tropical paradise of Quepos, Costa Rica. By joining forces with Xelect they will be able to introduce advanced modern genetic techniques, balancing pedigree control and inbreeding with continuous gains in important traits through selective breeding. This will be critical as they ramp up their production to 10,000MT per year.
Xelect’s breeding programme manager, Dr Carlos Diaz Gil, commented “The first step is developing a bespoke genetic marker panel for Martec, which allows them to analyse genetic relatedness. We’ll then effectively work as an in-house genetics department for them, analysing hundreds of thousands of possible breeding combinations to create the best possible improvements in key traits”.
Tony Broadhurst, Martec’s Technical Director, added “After more than a decade applying traditional methods, we’re starting to use 21st century technology to choose the best fish for breeding our future generations”.
Xelect’s CEO, Prof Ian Johnston, sees this as part of a rapid shift towards genetics becoming ‘the norm’ for producers of all sizes. “In the last couple of years, we’re increasingly seeing all the main producers switching to genetics backed breeding. It’s not just the traditional favourites like salmon, bass and bream – we’ve recently begun work on a whole range such as rohu carp, tilapia, and pangasius. The whole industry is waking up to what’s possible.”
For more details of Xelect’s range of genetic services for aquaculture visit www.xelect-genetics.com
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