Progress in the genetic improvement of prawns has been slow because of a lack of knowledge on key aspects of their biology and because farming industries have been satisfied to access wild stocks for broodstock. The spread of diseases which threaten farmed prawn production worldwide has emphasised the need to develop fully domesticated stocks. However, data relevant to quantitative breeding work is only beginning to appear with heritability estimates for growth of 0.4-0.5, and responses to selection of 4%, and heritability estimates for survival to disease of 0.3-0.4 with response to seletion of 12%. Highly variable markers (RFLPs, RAPDs, AFLPs, mtDNA and microsatellites) have been developed that allow the genetic variation in prawn stocks to be assessed, and a start to be made to genome mapping in the rare situations where pedigreed stocks are available. Work has begun on the isolation and characterisation of genes that play an important role in growth, reproduction and disease resistance, and which might be of use in developing transgenic technologies

J. AH Benzie

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 27: Reproduction; fish breeding; genetics and the environment; genetics in agricultural systems; disease resistance; animal welf, , 103–110, 1998
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