Zebrafish breeding program: genetic parameters estimates for growth traits

  • Vanessa LewandowskiEmail author
  • Cesar Sary
  • Jaisa Casetta
  • André Luiz Seccatto Garcia
  • Carlos Antonio Lopes de Oliveira
  • Ricardo Pereira Ribeiro
  • Lauro Daniel Vargas Mendez
Animal Genetics • Original Paper


The objective of this study was to evaluate the genetic parameters of two generations of zebrafish breeding program. The base population was formed by crossing individuals of six commercial stocks of zebrafish, resulting in a nucleus with 60 families. Two generations were evaluated, with a total of 780 and 781 individuals for the first and second generation, respectively. The selection was made based on the mean genetic value of each family, followed by mass selection of the breeders. Mathematical models that considered the fixed (age, density in the larval stage, sex, and generation) and random (animal additive genetics, common to full-sibs, and residual) effects were evaluated using BLUPF90 program family. Weight and total length were used as response variables. Total length was the best selection criterion because it had a higher heritability (0.30) than weight (0.22). There was a high common to full-sib effect, especially in the first generation of animals. For second-generation data, the heritability was 0.26 for total length, as well as a lower common to full-sib effect for length. The best model obtained for this evaluation was considering all effects, being age and density as first and second polynomial, respectively. The genetic and phenotypic correlations for weight and length were 0.87 and 0.75, respectively. These results indicate that genetic breeding using total length as the selection criterion may produce a larger and heavier zebrafish strain.


Components of variance Danio rerio Total length Heritability Weight 


Statement of author contributions

Vanessa Lewandowski: Project execution, statistical analysis, and paper writing

Cesar Sary: Project execution and data collect

Jaisa Casetta: Project execution and data collect

André Luiz Seccato Garcia: Statistical analysis

Carlos Antonio Lopes de Oliveira: Experimental design and statistical analysis

Ricardo Pereira Ribeiro: Experimental design

Lauro Daniel Vargas Mendez: Paper revision

Funding information

The authors are grateful to CAPES for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution of practice at which the studies were conducted.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participant included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa Lewandowski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cesar Sary
    • 2
  • Jaisa Casetta
    • 2
  • André Luiz Seccatto Garcia
    • 3
  • Carlos Antonio Lopes de Oliveira
    • 2
  • Ricardo Pereira Ribeiro
    • 2
  • Lauro Daniel Vargas Mendez
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Agrarian SciencesFederal University of Grande Dourados – UFGDDouradosBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceState University of Maringá – UEMMaringáBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Animal and Dairy ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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