Genome-wide association mapping and accuracy of predictions for amoebic gill disease in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Amoebic gill disease (AGD) is a parasitic disease caused by the amoeba Paramoeba perurans, which colonizes the gill tissues and causes distress for the host. AGD can cause high morbidity and mortalities in salmonid and non-salmonid fish species. To understand the genetic basis of AGD and improve health status of farmed A. salmon, a population of ~ 6,100 individuals belonging to 150 full-sib families was monitored for development of AGD in the sea of Ireland. The population was followed for two rounds of AGD infections, and fish were gill scored to identify severity of disease in first (N = 3,663) and the second (N = 3,511) infection with freshwater treatment after the first gill-scoring. A subset of this gill-scored population (N = 1,141) from 119 full-sib families were genotyped with 57,184 SNPs using custom-made Affymetrix SNP-chip. GWAS analyses were performed which resulted in five significantly associated SNP variants distributed over chromosome 1, 2 and 5. Three candidate genes; c4, tnxb and slc44a4 were found within QTL region of chromosome 2. The tnxb and c4 genes are known to be a part of innate immune system, and may play a role in resistance to AGD. The gain in prediction accuracy obtained by involving genomic information was 9–17% higher than using traditional pedigree information.