Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding

Genetic tools and techniques for fish improvement

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The Indian continent is a rich source of marine, freshwater,
brackishwater and cold water species of fishes of which
more than 2900 species have been documented so far. India
is blessed with a long coastline of 8129 kms, inland water
bodies like rivers and reservoirs, lakes etc. Fisheries and
aquaculture in our country contribute about 1.5 % to the
GDP. In addition to providing food and nutrition security
to millions of people, about 14 million people are directly or
indirectly employed in this vibrant sector. Response to
selection for body weight in first is higher because of
existence of high genetic variability. The fecundity is also
very high in fish/shellfish thereby allowing for a higher
selection intensity.External fertilization offers a great
opportunity for production of family as per choice.
Fisheries research especially related to genetics had been
initiated by the ICAR in a very systematic manner. Genetic
characterization of candidate species has also been
undertaken in a major way since 2008. Microsatellites and
mitochondrial genes ATPase 6/8, Cytochrome oxidase I,
12S rRNA and 16S rRNA are also being used for genetic
characterization. Individual selection is still considered the
best choice although family selection could also play a
vital role in retaining genetic variability. ICAR-Central
Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar along
with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
(NORAD) initiated the selective breeding programme on
the carp-Labeo rohita in 1992. This is the first genetic
improvement programme on fishes in our country and till
date is in vogue with substantial genetic gains in growth.
In 2007, at the same institute, genetic improvement
programmes in the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium
rosenbergii and recently on another carp Catla was initiated.
Fish genetics study at ICAR-Central Institute of
Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai and ICAR-Central
Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai in collaboration
with the NORAD on the tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon
revealed that growth has moderate to high heritability and
individual selection is the preferred choice for eliciting
maximum response. Additive genetic variances have been
exploited to control some diseases, whereas in White Spot
Syndrome Virus disease in shrimp, the additive genetic
variance is negligible, thereby making selection ineffective.
Presently, a genetic improvement programme on the
fgreshwater catfish Clarius magur has been initiated at
ICAR-CIFE at Balabhadrapuram near Kakinada

Keywords: Brackishwater aquaculture, selective breeding, fish species, shrimp


Year: 2019
Volume: 79
Issue: 1, Supplement
Article DOI: 10.31742/IJGPB.79S.1.15
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906



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