Reproduction and Genetics Group

nutrition laboratory

We focus on the management of broodstock and the production of fish as a controllable and sustainable resource. We study the control of maturation and puberty, the development and management of programmes of selective breeding, the mechanisms involved in sex differentiation and gender control, and basic research on important traits and genes. We combine the use of molecular biology and genomics with whole animal studies of physiology and function, in particular where they are relevant to commercial culture, including work on new aquaculture species and species diversification, particularly in marine fish. We make a major contribution to the research of the Nutrition and Health and Welfare groups who use common techniques. Our state of the art laboratories have the latest equipment for DNA sequencing, fragment analysis, quantitative PCR and functional genomic analysis. We have excellent freshwater and marine fish holding research facilities, and work with industrial partners in the UK fish farming sector and with a wide variety of collaborating institutions worldwide. Research funding and support is drawn from BBSRC, NERC, the European Community, DFID, DEFRA, NUTRECO, Trouw, TCS, BTA, LINK, Commonwealth Scholarships and various national governments.

Genetic Management & Selective Breeding

Properly planned management can prevent inbreeding and improve performance via selective breeding and other genetic techniques. Our research in this area covers a wide variety of species and countries, from carps in Asia to seabream in the Mediterranean and halibut in Scotland.
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Sex Determination

We use a wide variety of techniques to analyse and manipulate sex ratios and maturation in fish, including genomic analysis of male and female fish, advanced karyotype analysis techniques (e.g. FISH, chromosome microdissection), chromosome set manipulations, hormonal sex reversal and triploidy.
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Genomics & Molecular Genetics

Genomics and molecular genetics, including functional genomics, are essential for an understanding of the molecular basis of complex traits of fish and their parasites and pathogens. We are involved in research that spans several areas of the Institute's research programme.
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Stock Management Strategies

The attainment of sexual maturity can result in commercial loss due to reduced growth potential and detrimental effects on welfare. We aim to improve basic understanding of reproductive physiology in fish to aid the development of new husbandry protocols for the industry.
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Fish Endocrinology

We have generated new knowledge neuroendocrine mechanisms in fish concerned with light perception, circadian biology, the control of reproduction (brain-pituitary-gonadal axis), growth (somatropic axis), smoltification and welfare.
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Clonal Lines

We use clonal lines in research on sex determination, genetics of colour, immunology and disease resistance, and as controls in selective breeding programmes.
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