Genetic (co)variation in skin pigmentation patterns and growth in rainbow trout
From a physiological-behavioral perspective, it has been shown that fish with a higher density of black eumelanin spots are more dominant, less sensitive to stress, have higher feed intake, better feed efficiency and therefore are larger in size. Thus, we hypothesized that genetic (co)variation between skin pigmentation patterns and growth exists and it is advantageous in rainbow trout. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic relationships between skin pigmentation patterns and BW in a breeding population of rainbow trout. We performed a genetic analysis of pigmentation traits including dorsal color (DC), lateral band (LB) intensity, amount of spotting above (SA) and below (SB) the lateral line, and BW at harvest (HW). Variance components were estimated using a multi-trait linear animal model fitted by restricted maximum likelihood. Estimated heritabilities were 0.08 +/- 0.02, 0.17 +/- 0.03, 0.44 +/- 0.04, 0.17 +/- 0.04 and 0.23 +/- 0.04 for DC, LB, SA, SB and HW, respectively. Genetic correlations between HW and skin color traits were 0.42 +/- 0.13, 0.32 +/- 0.14 and 0.25 +/- 0.11 for LB, SA and SB, respectively. These results indicate positive, but low to moderate genetic relationships between the amount of spotting and BW in rainbow trout. Thus, higher levels of spotting are genetically associated with better growth performance in this population.
Artículo de publicación SCOPUS