World - Genomics, Gene-Editing and the Blue Revolution
Advances in genomic and gene-editing technologies are giving aquaculture a much more precise way of making disease resistant fish and shellfish
Aquaculture – the farming of fish and shellfish, is the world’s fastest growing primary industry. It provides a healthy source of protein, oil and minerals for our rapidy expanding human population. But viral and parasitic diseases remain a key challenge for aquaculture industries around the world.
Our global experience this year with COVID-19 has highlighted that biosecurity is expensive and often limited in its protection against the spread of contagious disease.
Developing effective treatments – like vaccines – can be challenging, take many years and can be difficult to manufacture and deploy in order to effectively protect large populations. The same is true for disease in aquaculture.
We know, however, that there is natural genetic variation in resistance for aquaculture’s most problematic viral and parasitic diseases.
So our research, some of which is published in the journal Scientific Reports, explores how this knowledge could be used in combination with the latest DNA technology advances, like genomic selection and CRISPR, to protect animals against disease.