Jade Tiger Abalone Breeding Program Goes To the Next Level

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By Milthon Lujan

Australia.- The Breeding and Genomics group operates a number of breeding programs which seek to select genetically superior animals within a range of species. One of our most important programs focusses on abalone, which in Australia utilises blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra), greenlip abalone (H laevigata) and their hybrid offspring favoured for their improved growth and production. In collaboration with our partner Jade Tiger Abalone, the breeding program has been running since 2003. It has relied on microsatellite markers for parentage assignment, which is an essential component in selecting improved animals. The team is continually looking for ways to improve all of our breeding programs, and James Kijas and Harry King saw the opportunity to take the DNA profiling component of the abalone program to the next level.

The team collected whole genome DNA sequence from 24 abalone before analysing the data to identify a large collection (2.2 million) of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). SNP are highly efficient to genotype and they offer the opportunity to build a genotyping tool which has increased diagnostic power and reduced cost when compared with microsatellites. The team selected a subset of available SNP and designed a cost effective genotyping tool containing the most informative DNA markers. The new SNP tool was road tested to assess its power to accurately measure the relationship between animals. It delivered 100% accuracy in a parentage test using abalone from the breeding program with known pedigree, validating it as reliable for real world application.

The results were published in the January issue of the journal Frontiers in Genetics (Volume 9, Article 687). The article makes available a library of DNA polymorphisms for applied breeding and ecological application in blacklip and greenlip abalone. Importantly, it sets the Jade Tiger Abalone breeding program on the path to more fully accessing the power of genomics. It opens the way for future developments which may include the identification of important genes and increasingly sophisticated methods such as genomic selection.

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The project is part of an ongoing collaboration between CSIRO and Jade Tiger Abalone.

CSIRO Aquaculture contact
Dr James Kijas – Research Group Leader, Breeding and Genomics

Reference (free):
Kijas James, Hamilton Matthew, Botwright Natasha, King Harry, McPherson Luke, Krsinich Anton, McWilliam Sean. 2019. Genome Sequencing of Blacklip and Greenlip Abalone for Development and Validation of a SNP Based Genotyping Tool. Frontiers in Genetics, Vol 9. DOI=10.3389/fgene.2018.00687
https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fgene.2018.00687 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2018.00687/full  

Source: CSIRO

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