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J Anim Sci. 2015 Jan;93(1):53-61. doi: 10.2527/jas.2014-7968.

Inheritance of skeletal deformities in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) - lack of operculum, lordosis, vertebral fusion and LSK complex.

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Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Grupo de Investigación en Acuicultura (GIA), Carretera Trasmontaña s/n, 35413, Arucas, Las Palmas, Spain.
Centro Acuícola y Pesquero de Investigación Aplicada (CAPIA), Universidad Santo Tomás, Buena Vecindad 101, Puerto Montt, Chile.
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Grupo de Investigación en Acuicultura (GIA), Carretera Trasmontaña s/n, 35413, Arucas, Las Palmas, Spain


Morphological abnormalities in farmed gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) are a major problem as it entails significant economic losses. In this study, 3 large scale experiments under different conditions of spawning, offspring handling and breeders phenotype were performed to analyze the inheritance of 4 types of deformities in this species: lack of operculum, lordosis, vertebral fusion, which are 3 of the most important skeletal deformities, and LSK, which is a consecutive repetition of lordosis/scoliosis/kyphosis. In Exp. [1] (mass spawning and fingerling sorting), 900 fish were analyzed at 509 d post-hatching: 846 fish that had been on-grown in a farm and 54 LSK-deformed fish that had been reared separately after being selected during the fingerling sorting process. A total of 89 families were represented. A statistically significant association between 5 of these families (from 6 breeders) and LSK-deformed fish was found. In Exp. [2] (mass spawning and no fingerling sorting), 810 fish were analyzed at 2 ages: 179 and 689 d post-hatching. Significant relationships between 2 of the breeders and 2 of the families with the lack of operculum prevalence of their descendants were found at 689 d but not at 179 d. Heritabilities: 0.09 ± 0.09 at 179 d and 0.17 ± 0.08 at 689 d. Column deformities prevalence was low and no association with family was observed. Family relationships were determined by microsatellites multiplex PCR in both experiments. In Exp. [3] (designed mating), sires suffering from lordosis or lack of operculum or vertebral fusion deformities were mated with non-deformed dams and a mass-spawning mating was considered as a control. After analyzing 11,503 offspring at 159 d post-hatching, a significant relationship between each deformity prevalence and the mating of breeders suffering from the same deformity was observed. In addition, a significant prevalence of lack of operculum in offspring from lordotic matings was observed. Heritabilities ranged from 0.34 to 0.46 for the 3 deformities. The results of the present study suggest that these deformities have a genetic origin. They also suggest that the sorting process is not recommended and that producers should consider these deformities in genetic breeding programs to significantly improve their fish morphological quality and to minimize farmed fish deformities incidence.


deformity; genetic improvement; kyphosis; scoliosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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