Gender analysis of fish




Dr. Sigurlaug Skírnisdóttir, Msc. Eiríkur Briem, Msc. Hlynur Sigurgíslason, Dr. Guðmundur Ó. Hreggviðsson, Dr. Sigríður Valgeirsdóttir, Dr. Jónas Jónasson, Dr. Sigríður Hjörleifsdóttir

Supported by:

Technology Development Fund (Icelandic Research Centers)


Sigurlaug Skírnisdóttir

Project Manager

Gender analysis of fish

The aim of the project was to find a gender-related difference between the genetic material of pike and females in salmon, halibut and cod. This information was then to be used to develop a gender analysis test for these fish species. Gene and female repositories for the three species were prepared by subtraction pairing. The sequences obtained in the gene pool were sequenced, palpated, and then plated. The flakes were then paired with genetic material on the hens and females and the binding was assessed for the sexes. The project involved a great deal of technical and market innovation, combining high-tech methods from molecular genetics and information technology to solve the existing market problem in gender analysis in aquaculture. The risk in the project was whether there was a sufficient gender difference in the genome of these fish to detect it by flake analysis. This project was a great challenge and although the final goal was not achieved, it worked out in terms of methodology and great results were obtained. The project was therefore important for development and method development within the companies Stofnfisk, Matís-Prokaria and Nimblegen Systems in Iceland.

The goal of the project was to develop a sex determination method for the three fish species, cod, salmon and halibut. Gene libraries for female and male fishes were produced for the three fish species by using the subtraction hybridization method from whole genomic DNA. Probes were designed for all the sequences obtained and the probes were put on microarrays. The microarrays were hybridized with DNA from both male and female fishes and the difference scored. The risk of the project was to determine if there is enough gene difference between the sexes of these three fish species to be analyzed by using microarrays. The project did not reveal sex determination genes, but this assignment was a big challenge for the three companies Stofnfiskur, Matís-Prokaria and Nimblegen Systems. Many new methods and technical solutions were solved during the project and a large set of results were built up. The project was an important part of the fast growing and development of the companies.

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