In a previous study, three significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with resistance to Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) disease were identified by analysing challenge data from one sub-population of Landcatch Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolt. While these QTL were shown to affect the resistance in seawater, their effect in freshwater was unknown. This study investigates the effect of these QTL on IPN resistance in salmon fry in freshwater. Twenty families with intermediate levels of IPN mortality were analysed from a freshwater challenge trial undertaken on a different sup-population of LNS salmon to that studied previously. Only the QTL from linkage group 21 (LG21) appeared to have a significant and large effect on resistance in freshwater; the same QTL was found to have the largest effect in seawater in the previous study. Variance component analysis showed a high heritability for the QTL: 0.45 ± 0.07 on the liability scale and 0.25 ± 0.05 on the observed scale. In a family where both parents were segregating for the QTL, there was a 0% vs. 100% mortality in homozygous offspring for resistant and susceptible QTL alleles. The finding that the same QTL has major effect in both freshwater and seawater has important practical implications, as this will allow the improvement of resistance in both phases through marker assisted selection by targeting this QTL. Moreover, the segregation of the LG21 QTL in a different sub-population gives further evidence of its association with IPN-resistance.
- Atlantic salmon
- marker assisted selection