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Mol Genet Genomics. 2018 Oct;293(5):1107-1120. doi: 10.1007/s00438-018-1443-4. Epub 2018 May 8.

GWAS analysis using interspecific backcross progenies reveals superior blue catfish alleles responsible for strong resistance against enteric septicemia of catfish.

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The Fish Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36849, USA.
Department of Biology, College of Art and Sciences, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 13244, USA.


Infectious diseases pose significant threats to the catfish industry. Enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC) caused by Edwardsiella ictaluri is the most devastating disease for catfish aquaculture, causing huge economic losses annually. Channel catfish and blue catfish exhibit great contrast in resistance against ESC, with channel catfish being highly susceptible and blue catfish being highly resistant. As such, the interspecific backcross progenies provide an ideal system for the identification of quantitative trait locus (QTL). We previously reported one significant QTL on linkage group (LG) 1 using the third-generation backcrosses, but the number of founders used to make the second- and third-generation backcross progenies was very small. Although the third-generation backcross progenies provided a greater power for fine mapping than the first-generation backcrosses, some major QTL for disease resistance may have been missing due to the small numbers of founders used to produce the higher generation backcrosses. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study using first-generation backcrosses with the catfish 690 K SNP arrays to identify additional ESC disease resistance QTL, especially those at the species level. Two genomic regions on LG1 and LG23 were determined to be significantly associated with ESC resistance as revealed by a mixed linear model and family-based association test. Examination of the resistance alleles indicated their origin from blue catfish, indicating that at least two major disease resistance loci exist among blue catfish populations. Upon further validation, markers linked with major ESC disease resistance QTL should be useful for marker-assisted introgression, allowing development of highly ESC resistant breeds of catfish.


Disease resistance; ESC; Fish; GWAS; QTL; SNP

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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