Pappas F, Palaiokostas C
Animals (Basel) 11 (3) - [2021-03-21; online 2021-03-21]
Incorporation of genomic technologies into fish breeding programs is a modern reality, promising substantial advances regarding the accuracy of selection, monitoring the genetic diversity and pedigree record verification. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays are the most commonly used genomic tool, but the investments required make them unsustainable for emerging species, such as Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), where production volume is low. The requirement to genotype a large number of animals for breeding practices necessitates cost effective genotyping approaches. In the current study, we used double digest restriction site-associated DNA (ddRAD) sequencing of either high or low coverage to genotype Arctic charr from the Swedish national breeding program and performed analytical procedures to assess their utility in a range of tasks. SNPs were identified and used for deciphering the genetic structure of the studied population, estimating genomic relationships and implementing an association study for growth-related traits. Missing information and underestimation of heterozygosity in the low coverage set were limiting factors in genetic diversity and genomic relationship analyses, where high coverage performed notably better. On the other hand, the high coverage dataset proved to be valuable when it comes to identifying loci that are associated with phenotypic traits of interest. In general, both genotyping strategies offer sustainable alternatives to hybridization-based genotyping platforms and show potential for applications in aquaculture selective breeding.