Published 30.11.2020

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Publication details

Journal : Frontiers in Genetics , vol. 11 , p. 1–15 , Monday 30. November 2020

Publisher : Frontiers Media S.A.

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 1664-8021
Electronic : 1664-8021

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Kristjánsson, Ólafur Hjörtur; Gjerde, Bjarne; Ødegård, Jørgen; Lillehammer, Marie

Research areas

Breeding and genetics

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


In selective breeding programs for Atlantic salmon, test fish are slaughtered at an average body weight where growth rate and carcass traits as filet fat (FF), filet pigment (FP) and visceral fat index (FF) are recorded. The objective of this study was to obtain estimates of genetic correlations between growth rate (GR), and the three carcass quality traits when fish from the same 206 families (offspring of 120 sires and 206 dams from 2 year-classes) were recorded both at the same age (SA) and about the same body weight (SW). In the SW group, the largest fish were slaughtered at five different slaughter events and the remaining fish at the sixth slaughter event over 6 months. Estimates of genetic parameters for the traits were obtained from a Bayesian multivariate model for (potentially) truncated Gaussian traits through a Gibbs sampler procedure in which phantom GR values were obtained for the unslaughtered, and thus censored SW group fish at each slaughter event. The heritability estimates for the same trait in each group was similar; about 0.2 for FF, 0.15 for FP and 0.35 for VF and GR. The genetic correlation between the same traits in the two groups was high for growth rate (0.91 ± 0.05) visceral index (0.86 ± 0.05), medium for filet fat (0.45 ± 0.17) and low for filet pigment (0.13 ± 0.27). Within the two groups, the genetic correlation between growth rate and filet fat changed from positive (0.59 ± 0.14) for the SA group to negative (−0.45 ± 0.17) for the SW group, while the genetic correlation between growth rate and filet pigment changed from negative (−0.33 ± 0.22) for the SA group to positive (0.62 ± 0.16) for the SW group. The genetic correlation of growth rate with FF and FP is sensitive to whether the latter traits are measured at the same age or the same body weight. The results indicate that selection for increased growth rate is not expected to have a detrimental effect on the quality traits if increased growth potential is realized through a reduced production time.