Aquaculture at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Research related to Aquaculture is spread across different departments and faculties at SLU. Since 2012 a Section on Aquaculture has been established at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences. Since 2014, the chair in aquaculture, held by Prof. Anders Kiessling, is based at the Department of Animal Nutrition and Management of the same faculty. Aquaculture research across SLU has been supported by core grant from the vice chancellor following the university evaluation in 2009. At present, preparations are in progress to establish a University-wide research platform for aquaculture.

Group of Quantitative Genetics
Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Prof. Dirk-Jan De Koning

Group description
Within the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, DJ de Koning leads the section on Quantitative Genetics. The other scientific sections are “Applied Genetics” and “Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics”. Within our section we study many aspects of Quantitative Genetics. There is an interest to dissect the genetic control of complex traits into individual gene variants as well as using the sum of all the genetic variants in the genome to predict genome-wide genetic merit or risk. Other areas of research include the modeling of disease phenotypes to derive new and more informative trait definitions and the analyses of Next Generation Sequencing Data. A lot of the work interfaces with other aspects of genetics and biology such as computational-, population- and molecular genetics, as well as bioinformatics and mathematical modeling. The section of Quantitative Genetics comprises a group of relatively young scientists that are largely research focused. People in the section work on a wide range of species as well as on theory and tool development, which is not limited to any given species. The section is very international with researchers origination from China, Holland, Portugal, Brazil, Germany and Ghana. In terms of aquaculture research, DJ de Koning has experience in mapping QTL in a number of aquaculture species. At present, his group is taking over scientific responsibility for the breeding program of arctic char and rainbow trout, which are carried out in Kälarne in the North of Sweden. Together with Wageningen University and World Fish, we share a PhD student on the genetic aspects of interactions among Nile Tilapia.

Relevant publications

  1. Antonello, J., C. Massault, R. Franch, C. Haley, C. Pellizzari et al. 2009 Estimates of heritability and genetic correlation for body length and resistance to fish pasteurellosis in the gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.). Aquaculture 298: 29-35.
  2. Boulton, K; Massault, C; Houston, RD; de Koning, DJ et al. QTL affecting morphometric traits and stress response in the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata). AQUACULTURE  319 : 58-66.
  3. CC Ekine, SJ Rowe, SC Bishop, DJ de Koning. Why Breeding Values Estimated Using Familial Data Should Not Be Used for Genome-Wide Association Studies. G3: Genes| Genomes| Genetics, doi: g3. 113.008706
  4. Jonas E, and de Koning DJ. 2013 Does genomic selection have a future in plant breeding? Trends in Biotechnology 31 (9): 497-504.
  5. Lam, A. C., J. Fu, R.C. Jansen, C.S. Haley and D.J. de Koning, 2008. Optimal Design of Genetic Studies of Gene Expression with Two-colour Microarrays in Outbred Crosses. Genetics, 180 (3):1691-1698
  6. Massault C, Franch R, Haley C, de Koning DJ, Bovenhuis H, Pellizzari C, Patarnello T, Bargelloni L, 2011. Quantitative trait loci for resistance to fish pasteurellosis in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Animal Genetics 42:191-203.
  7. Massault, C., B. Hellemans, B. Louro, C. Batargias, J. K. J. Van Houdt et al. 2010 QTL for body weight, morphometric traits and stress response in European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax.  Animal Genetics 41: 337-345.
  8. Massault, C., H. Bovenhuis, C. S. Haley and D.J. de Koning, 2008. QTL mapping designs for aquaculture. Aquaculture, 285 (1-4):23-29.
  9. J Nadaf, C Berri, I Dunn, E Godet, E Le Bihan-Duval, DJ de Koning. An Expression QTL of Closely Linked Candidate Genes Affects pH of Meat in Chickens. Genetics OAP doi: genetics. 113.160440
  10. Danielle Posthuma, Dirk-Jan de Koning, Conor Dolan, Michael E. Goddard, and Peter M. Visscher. 2009. A Note on Permutation Tests for Genetic Association Analysis of Quantitative Traits When Variances are Heterogeneous. Epid. 33:710-716.
  11. Rowe, SJ; Pong-Wong, R; Haley, CS; Knott, SA; De Koning, DJ. 2009. Detecting parent of origin and dominant QTL in a two-generation commercial poultry pedigree using variance component methodology. Sel. Evol. 41, Art No. 6.
  12. Sauvage, C., P. Boudry, D. J. de Koning, C. S. Haley, S. Heurtebise et al. 2010 QTL for resistance to summer mortality and OsHV-1 load in the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas). Animal Genetics 41: 390-399.
  13. Strucken EM, de Koning DJ, Rahmatalla SA, Brockmann GA, 2011. Lactation curve models for estimating gene effects over a timeline. Journal of Dairy Science 94: 442-449.
  14. Volckaert FAM, Bart Hellemans, Costas Batargias, Bruno Louro, Cécile Massault, Jeroen KJ Van Houdt, Chris Haley, Dirk-Jan de Koning, Adelino VM Canario. Heritability of cortisol response to confinement stress in European sea bass dicentrarchus labrax. Genetics Selection Evolution 44:15-19.

Department of Food Science
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Prof. Jana Pickova

Group description
Within the Department of Food Science the fish lipid and antioxidant quality was the start of research on fish. There is an interest to understand how fish tissues are affected by feeding and feeds for their composition. The section is very international with visiting researchers from Czech Republic, Germany and Sri Lanka and others.  In terms of aquaculture research, Jana Pickova has been very active working on broodstock quality and egg quality ; lipid-hatching correlations. This is based in especially lipid requirements in several aquaculture species, salmonids and cod as well as cyprinids in collaboration with Czech partners at South Bohemian University. At present, the breeding program of Arctic char and rainbow trout, which are carried out in Kälarne in the North of Sweden serve as basis for the experiments being carried out. In addition, together with South Bohemian University and some PhD students we are planning activities on pike perch and carp egg and sperm quality and the progress towards larval survival in different culture systems.

  1. Pickova J., Dutta, PC., Larsson, P-O., Kiessling, A. 1997. Early embryonic cleavage pattern, hatching success and egg-lipid fatty acid composition: Comparison of cod stocks. Can.    Fish. Aquat. Sci. 54; 10: 2410-2416.
  2. Pickova, J., Kiessling, A., Dutta, PC., Pettersson, A. 1998. Composition of main lipid classes and astaxanthin content in three Swedish salmon stocks. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 120B: 265-271.
  3. Pickova, J., Kiessling, A., Pettersson, A., Dutta, P. 1999. Fatty acid and carotenoid composition of eggs from two nonanadromous Atlantic salmon stocks of cultured and wild origin. Fish Physiol. Biochem. 21: 147-156
  4. Pickova, J., Dutta, PC., Pettersson, A., FrØyland, L., Kiessling, A. 2003. Eggs of Baltic salmon displaying M74, yolk sac mortality syndrome have elevated levels of cholesterol oxides and the fatty acid 22:6 n-3. Aquaculture 227: 63-75.
  5. Pickova, J., Mørkøre,T. 2007. Alternate oils in fish feeds. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 109: 256-263.
  6. Pickova, J. Brännäs E. 2006. Egg quality in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). Archives of Animal Breeding 49: 86-90.
  7. Pickova, J., Brännäs, E., Andersson, T. 2007. Importance of fatty acids in broodstock diets with emphasis on Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) eggs: Aquaculture International 15; 3-4: 305-311.
  8. Trattner, S., Pickova, J., Park, K.H., Rinchard, J., Dabrowski, K. 2007. Effects of lipoic and ascorbic acid in nutrition of South American pacu Piaractus mesopotamicus – muscle and brain fatty acids and antioxidants. Aquaculture, 273: 158-164
  9. Van der Meeren, T., Pickova, J., Mangor-Jensen, A. 2007. The effect of green water and light intensity on survival, growth and lipid composition in cod (Gadus morhua) during intensive larval rearing. Aquaculture 265; 1-4: 206-217.
  10. Trattner, S., Kamal-Eldin, A., Brännäs, E., Moazzami, A., Zlabek, V., Larsson, P., Ruyter, B., Gjøen, T., Pickova, J. 2008. Sesamin supplementation increases white muscle docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) containing vegetable oil: Metabolic actions. Lipids 43: 989-997.
  11. Mraz, J., Pickova, J. 2009. Differences between lipid content and composition of different parts of fillets from crossbred farmed carp (Cyprinus carpio). Fish Physiol. Biochem. 35: 615-623.
  12. Pettersson, A., Pickova, J., Brännäs, E. 2009. Swimming performance at different temperatures and fatty acid composition of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) fed palm and rapeseed oils Aquaculture 300, 27: 176-181
  13. Sanseverino, A.M., Bastviken, D., Sundh, I., Pickova, J., Enrich-Prast, A.   Methane carbon supports aquatic food webs to the fish level. PLoS ONE 7, Issue 8, 7 August 2012, Article number 42723
  14. Marine oils (From Sea to Pharmaceutical) 2015. Editor : Zabetakis, I. Chapter 2 Fish lipid nutrition and marine oils: Fish requirements of lipids, by Pickova, J. and Trattner, S. p. 57-71Nova Publishers, NY, US.