alexa Growth of domesticated transgenic fish
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal

Author(s): Robert H Devlin, Carlo A Biagi, Timothy Y Yesaki

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Growth rates of many fish species used in aquaculture are naturally slow, but are currently being enhanced by traditional methods of domestication and selection1. The efficiency of growth and feed-conversion can also be increased in finfish by creating transgenic fish that incorporate a gene construct encoding growth hormone, giving 3–11-fold gains in weight2, 3, 4, 5. Here we examine growth enhancement due to transgenesis in wild (slow-growing) and selected (fast-growing) commercial salmonid species relative to growth achieved in domesticated strains. We find that the growth response is strongly influenced by the intrinsic growth rate and genetic background of the host strain, and that inserting growth-hormone transgenes into highly domesticated fish does not necessarily result in further growth enhancement. We microinjected rainbow-trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) eggs from a very slow-growing wild strain with a salmon gene construct overexpressing growth hormone (construct OnMTGH1). Like coho salmon3, the transgenic trout grew much faster than non-transgenic sibling controls (Fig. 1a), achieving a 17.3-fold difference in weight by 14 months post-fertilization (non-transgenic: fish weight, 9.7 ± 0.6 g; length, 9.3 ± 0.1 cm; n = 247; transgenic fish: weight, 167.6 ± 14.9 g; length, 24.2 ± 0.9 cm; n = 40). The amount of growth enhancement was comparable (17.6-fold) in a first-generation (F1) family line established from these fish.

This article was published in Nature and referenced in Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal

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