Xelect Genetics announces new service for trout producers

Published on
May 12, 2021

St. Andrews, Scotland-based Xelect Genetics, a company providing genetic services for aquaculture operations, has announced the launch of a new service it calls a “one-stop genetic broodstock health check” for aquaculture operations producing trout.

The new GeneXpertise service gives smaller aquaculture companies access to detailed genetic information on trout populations, along with guidance on which crosses to avoid and which to make. The information, according to Xelect, is especially important given trout’s fecundity, which leaves them susceptible to inbreeding.

“GeneXpertise is a very cost-effective way to give your broodstock a boost. It’s clearly not a replacement for our full breeding program services, but it allows many producers access to a highly specialized team of experts at the scale that’s right for them,” Xelect Director of Operations Tom Ashton said in a release. “It’s also really quick – just a few weeks from start to finish.”

Xelect provides genetic services to aquaculture operations around the world, and helps reduce the cost of genetics-based breeding programs for smaller companies.

“Xelect’s experts can help you develop your genetics roadmap and set you on course for the years to come,” Xelect CEO Ian Johnston said. “For example, we can check the genetic health and selection suitability of your broodstock population, or we can provide direct recommendations for your next stripping season. After that you'll be perfectly placed to improve the sustainability and performance of your breeding program.”

The new program, the company said, is aimed at producers who want to get started with genetics, but don’t need – or want – a full management service.

“We’ve long believed that the latest technologies should be for the many, not the few,” the company said. “There’s a lingering myth in aquaculture that genetics is expensive, and that only the largest producers can benefit. The reality is that – due to breakthroughs in computing power and sequencing methods – even small companies should now be able to access the tools they need.”

The new trout program’s report will help trout producers avoid crossbreeding, something Xelect said is of particular importance with the species.

“A single female can produce thousands of juveniles. This rapidly leads to ‘inbreeding depression’ – a loss of genetic variation, resulting in increased deformity, reduced vigor and poor survival,” the company said. “Once that happens there’s no way back, without purchasing new broodstock animals from a different source.”  

Photo courtesy of Xelect Genetics

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