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Aquaculture farms are exposed to different pathogens which are at the root of infections and which can have a significant impact on businesses. Either there is no vaccine for the majority of diseases or their effectiveness is limited, and the only means of combatting them is by using prophylaxis methods or drug treatments. Therefore, selecting resistant stock seems to be a promising way forward. However, the implementation of such programmes is not compatible with the financial capacity of French SMEs. The initial work carried out by the research partners at the INRA and the SYSAAF within the framework of the FLAVORES (ANR-07-GANI-002) programme and supported at the ANR's GENANIMAL call for projects, investigated, via experimentation and simulations, the feasibility of a selection on the performance of high collaterals in mixed families and identified a posteriori by DNA profiling.
The aim of RESIST is to produce the information needed to introduce resistance to disease into the existing selection programmes according to the hypotheses tested under FLAVORES and to prepare these methods for the imminent introduction of molecular information produced by high throughout genomics (selection assisted by genes or markers), by answering the following questions: (1) What is the heritability of resistance to the main pathogens in mixed families  ? What are the links between resistance to various
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pathogens and production traits? (2) What are the most suitable ways of improving the genetic resistance of the candidates for selection within the framework of the current method via the use of molecular pedigrees? (3) How to prepare tomorrow's selection methods : in particular, how to exploit the individual molecular information of the candidates in order to assess their genetic worth? Finally, the project will examine how to integrate this new genomic information in order to (i) optimise overall genetic improvement depending on the objectives of businesses and (ii) anticipate adaptations in the area of associated genetic information management.
In taking up this challenge, the main breeding companies of the 4 most important species in French fish farming (rainbow trout, sea-bass, turbot and sea bream), have joined the teams from the ANSES, INRA, Ifremer and the SYSAAF. The respective expertise of the partners in the fields of quantitative genetics, pathology and genomics will be used for the RESIST project by combining studies on commercial fish lines and finer experiments in experimental installations and laboratories (fish farms and infectiology units).

This project, labellised by the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on the 20th April 2012, is co-labellised by the Mer Bretagne, Mer PACA and AgriMip Innovation Poles.


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