Application of genome editing in aquatic farm animals: Atlantic salmon

Abstract

Gene editing offers opportunities to solve fish farming sustainability issues that presently hampers expansion of the aquaculture industry. In for example Atlantic salmon farming, there are now two major bottlenecks limiting the expansion of the industry. One is the genetic impact of escaped farmed salmon on wild populations, which is considered the most long-term negative effect on the environment. Secondly and the utmost acute problem is the fish parasite salmon lice, which is currently causing high lethality in wild salmonids due to high concentrations of the parasite in the sea owing to sea cage salmon farming. There are also sustainability issues associated with increased use of vegetable-based ingredients as replacements for marine products in fish feed. This transition comes at the expense of the omega-3 content both in fish feed and the fish filet of the farmed fish. Reduced fish welfare represents another obstacle, and robust farmed fish is needed to avoid negative stress associated phenotypes such as cataract, bone and fin deformities, precocious maturity and higher disease susceptibility. Gene editing could solve some of these problems as genetic traits can be altered positively to reach phenotype of interest such as for example disease resistance and increased omega-3 production.

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Acknowledgements

The Research Council of Norway BIOTEK2021/HAVBRUK Projects; SALMAT (226221), SALMOSTERILE (221648) and MATGEN (254783).

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Correspondence to Anna Wargelius.

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Wargelius, A. Application of genome editing in aquatic farm animals: Atlantic salmon. Transgenic Res 28, 101–105 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-019-00163-0

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