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EGS-ABG : European Graduate School in Animal Breeding and Genetics

The application of Genomic selection to Genotype by Environment interactions in Nile Tilapia

Nr : 6-WU-SLU

Topic :
The application of Genomic selection to Genotype by Environment interactions in Nile Tilapia

Host Institutions :
Wageningen University (The Netherlands)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)

Summary :
Genotype by environment interaction (GxE) is of high relevance for the development of tilapia aquaculture which is a major contributor to food security in developing countries. Evidence suggests that early life history might be an important factor determining the extent of GxE. Genomic selection offers a powerful tool to investigate GxE. In this project the PhD student will do stochastic simulations to determine the optimal design for a GxE experiment, using genotyping to estimate genomic relationships. The student will then do the actual GxE experiment, in collaboration with WorldFish, Malaysia, and collect and analyse the data. The experiment will provide the basis of a training population for genomic selection. The final part of this project is directed at finding, through simulations, optimal designs for a reference population in a genomic selection breeding program for tilapia that accounts for GxE. The results of this study will not only be very relevant for understanding genotype by environment in tilapia but also contribute to a better understanding of how GxE should be estimated in fish and how genomic selection methodology can contribute to improved estimates of GxE in general. The PhD student must have a good understanding of quantitative genetics but also have the experience or willingness to be part of a hands-on aquaculture breeding program. Molecular laboratory skills are useful but are not part of the selection criteria.

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