The Marine Gene Probe Laboratory (MGPL) is developing and testing selection protocols that use DNA fingerprinting to identify sibships in aquaculture populations. Superior individuals are selected from families that are grown together from birth onwards with a minimum of physical tagging and without interfering with commercial operations. A simple within-family selection protocol (called "walk-back") exploits the high fecundity of aquaculture organisms to achieve intense selection while minimizing inbreeding.
The relative response to selection of within-family versus combined selection is derived as a function of relative selection intensities and the intraclass correlation coefficient, t. For full sibs, the relative response to within vs. combined selection is Sw/ct1/2, where Sw/c is the ratio of selection intensities. Within-family is expected to be more effective than combined selection in many aquacultural circumstances. Extensive computer simulations suggest that the number of animals required to be DNA fingerprinted is a few hundred or less, to achieve selection intensities of 2 to 4 sigma, with an effective breeding number > 80. The current state of development of DNA microsatellite fingerprinting in the MGPL is briefly described.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 19. Selection and quantitative genetics; growth; reproduction; lactation; fish; fiber; meat., , 364–371, 1994
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