ARS scientists conducted research to determine if America’s agricultural system is safe from COVID-19.
New Breeding Tools Boost Atlantic Salmon Production
North American Atlantic salmon is a popular farmed salmon in the United States, and consumer demand for this tasty fish continues to grow. The number of U.S. commercial Atlantic salmon farming operations is expected to increase 5-fold over the next 3 years, and these fish farmers are looking to ARS for improved strains that produce bigger yields, are disease resistant, and have the sensory qualities (size, flesh, taste) that consumers want.
To meet these challenges, ARS researchers in Franklin, ME, and Leetown, WV, created an improved genome reference sequence for the North American Atlantic salmon and developed the first DNA chip that enables the use of genomic information in breeding strategies. Researchers can use the DNA chip to accurately track and assess genetic impacts on fish growth, resistance to disease, market weight, and other qualities. This valuable data can then be used to improve selection accuracy (which fish should be selected for breeding) by as much as 50 percent, therefore increasing the pace of bringing improved fish genetics to farmers while reducing the costs of breeding programs.
Explore Other Discoveries
Scientists Test Farm Animals for COVID-19
Cattle Thank Their Lucky Clovers
Red clover in cattle diets could give them additional defense against fescue toxicosis, caused by the consumption of fungus-infected tall fescue when grazing.
Fighting the Invasive Tawny Crazy Ant
ARS scientists and the Foundation for the Study of Invasive Species in Argentina, conducted research to further understand tawny crazy ant behavior.
Fungus Compounds May Help Fight Fish Disease
ARS researchers and Villanova University researchers looked at compounds called pyranopyrans that have significant antibacterial properties against a certain fish pathogen.
Improved Computer Modeling Can Help Predict Future Outbreaks
ARS researchers used computer modeling to predict the limited potential of livestock transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Protecting U.S. Swine from a Looming Animal Disease Threat
ARS scientists at the Plum Island National Animal Disease Research Center are preparing countermeasures in case of the arrival of African Swine Fever in the United States.