The International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture XI

The International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture XI at Auburn University

The meeting is June 24-30, 2012.

Registration is now OPEN Click Here

The location is the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center, Auburn University, Alabama.


The International Association for Genetics in Aquaculture (IAGA) was formed at the 1985 Symposium Genetics in Aquaculture II, in Davis, with the purpose to promote communication among and constructive service to its members concerning all aspects of genetics of aquatic species important to aquaculture, to provide a mechanism for holding a triennial meeting known as the “International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture (ISGA)”, and to ensure publication of the proceedings of each symposium.

In the last few decades, aquaculture has grown into a global practice resulting in tremendous worldwide production. Aquaculture production has enlarged dramatically since the early 1980s, and will become increasingly important as demand for seafood products increases, world harvest by capture fisheries reaches a plateau or declines and human population numbers expand.

With increased demand for aquacultured foods has come a need for more efficient pro­duction systems. Major improvements have been achieved through enhanced husbandry procedures, improved nutrition, enhanced disease diagnosis and therapies and the application of genetics to production traits. Although several aquaculture species have been greatly improved through the applica­tion of genetics, much greater improvements can be accomplished. Genetically, improved fish developed through selection, intraspecific crossbreeding, interspecific hybridization, polyploidy, sex reversal (genetically monosex), and marker assisted selection are now being commercially applied for various species throughout the world. However, the potential maximum improvement in overall performance is not close to being achieved. As space for aqua­culture becomes more limiting, the necessity for more efficient production or increased production within the same amount of space will further increase the importance of genetic improvement of aquaculture species. Genetic research and its application have had a significant role in the development of aquaculture, and this role and impact will become increasingly important as aquacul­ture develops further. The com­bination of a variety of genetic improvement programs – traditional, biotechnological, genomic and genetic engineering – is likely to result in the best genotypes for aquaculture in the future.

Aquaculture genomics has made great strides in the past 20 years, and significant genomic tools are available to apply for genetic improvement programs.  Large microarrays and EST data bases are available containing the majority of fish genes. Integrated genetic maps have been constructed, and progress has been made in QTL mapping. Whole genome sequences are now available or nearly available for several major, terrestrial livestock species, and with the recent advances in sequencing technologies, it is likely that draft genome sequences will soon be available for several aquaculture species. Recently, large efforts on developing genomic resources for aquacultured species coupled with advances in sequencing technology has resulted in rapid progress.

Although, much remains to be done for developing aquaculture genomics resources, the time is right to take advantage of the vast effort that has been invested in genomics and to begin applying genomics in concert with breeding and genetics. ISGA XI can provide a valuable forum to exchange information to accelerate genetic improvement through traditional genetics, biotechnology, applied genomics and through the integration of these areas. The conference can also provide a valuable forum to accelerate genetic improvement of aquatic organisms by learning from the advances made in applied genomics for terrestrial organisms.

The objectives of the conference are for the international community of aquaculture geneticists and genomists

  1. to share the latest research on aquaculture genetics and applied genomics for genetic enhancement of farmed fish, shellfish and crustaceans,
  2. to link the past, present and future of aquaculture genetics,
  3. to present the current state of the integration of breeding, genetics and genomics for genetic enhancement,
  4. to provide a forum for aquaculture geneticists to learn from leaders in terrestrial animal research on the latest developments on integrating breeding, genetics and genomics for improving performance and
  5. to develop strategies to utilize the genomics data from the past 20 years for practical application of the genetic enhancement of farmed aquatic animals.

Sessions will include

  1. 1) Quantitative Genetics and Selective Breeding,
  2. 2) Biotechnology (Polyploidy, Sex Reversal and Breeding, Genetic Stem Cell Applications,
  3. 3) Transgenics
  4. 4) Ethics, Food Safety and Environmental Risk of Genetic Enhancement Programs and
  5. 5) Applied Genomics (Marker Assisted Selection and Whole Genome Selection).

Key note speaker

Jeremy Taylor, Professor and Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics, Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri

Topic: Applied Genomics to Accelerate Genetic Improvement Programs

Dr. Taylor has had a distinguished 30 year career in Quantitative Genetics, Genomics and Agribusiness. He is one of the world’s leading experts in Whole Genome Selection and Marker- Assisted Selection in Cattle. Please see Dr. Taylor’s letter of acceptance to attend and speak at ISGA XI in the attachments.

Invited speakers

Ben Koop, Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Molecular Biology, Principal Investigator, consortium on Genomics Research on All Salmon Project (cGRASP), Professor, Biology Department,Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Canada

Matthew Rise, Canada Research Chair in Marine Biotechnology, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

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