Journal Article

Body weight, sexual maturity, and spinal deformity in strains and families of Atlantic cod (<i>Gadus morhua</i>) at two years of age at different locations along the Norwegian coast

K. Kolstad, I. Thorland, T. Refstie and B. Gjerde

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 2, pages 246-252
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.11.007
Body weight, sexual maturity, and spinal deformity in strains and families of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) at two years of age at different locations along the Norwegian coast

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Body weight, occurrence of spinal deformity, and sexual maturity were recorded in 51 full-sib families of the strains coastal and Arctic cod at two years of age. The family groups were located at three sites along the Norwegian coast including Hordaland, Møre and Romsdal (M&R), and Nordland County to detect genetic variation in important production traits and to investigate interactions between genetic composition and production environment. Body weight varied among locations partly owing to different production conditions. There were also large differences among the locations with respect to spinal deformity. M&R had the highest occurrence of spinal deformity (p < 0.001). Comparison of sexual maturity among the locations was made difficult owing to the different ways the trait was recorded. Only small differences were found between coastal and Arctic cod in spinal deformity (p < 0.05 in Hordaland) and sexual maturity (p = 0.06 in M&R), while no differences were found for body weight. Heritability estimates for body weight (0.51), spinal deformity (0.27), and sexual maturity (0.21) indicate the potential for improvement of all three traits by selective breeding using a family-based selection programme. Final recordings at the end of the growing period will provide further information. Genetic correlations estimated between weight and occurrence of spinal deformity (rg = 0.50) suggest that caution be used when selecting for growth, and that a need exists for including spinal deformity in the selection index. No significant correlations were found between these two traits and the incidence of sexual maturity.

Keywords: Arctic cod; Atlantic cod; body weight; coastal cod; genetic variation; selective breeding programme; sexual maturity; spinal deformity

Journal Article.  4258 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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