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Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) gene are associated with growth-related traits in farmed Atlantic salmon

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-715
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2014


Understanding the genetic basis of variation in traits related to growth and fillet quality in Atlantic salmon is of importance to the aquaculture industry. Several growth-related QTL have been identified via the application of genetic markers. The IGF1 gene is considered a highly conserved and crucial growth-regulating gene in salmonid species. However, the association between polymorphisms in the IGF1 gene and growth-related traits in Atlantic salmon is unknown. Therefore, in this study, regions of the Atlantic salmon IGF1 gene were sequenced, aligned and compared across individuals. Three SNPs were identified in the putative promoter (SNP1, g.5763G>T; GenBank no. AGKD01012745), intron 1 (SNP2, g.7292C>T; GenBank no. AGKD01012745) and intron 3 (SNP3, g.4671A>C; GenBank no. AGKD01133398) regions respectively. These SNPs were genotyped in a population of 4800 commercial Atlantic salmon with data on several weight and fillet traits measured at harvest (at approximately 3 years of age). In a mixed model, association analysis of individual SNPs, SNP1 and SNP3 were both significantly associated with several weight traits (P < 0.05). The estimated additive effect on overall harvest weight was approximately 35 and 110 g for SNPs 1 and 3 respectively. A haplotype analysis confirmed the association between genetic variation in the IGF1 gene with overall body weight (P < 0.05) and fillet component traits (P < 0.05). Our findings suggest the identified nucleotide polymorphisms of the IGF1 gene may either affect farmed Atlantic salmon growth directly or be in population-wide linkage disequilibrium with causal variation, highlighting their possible utility as candidates for marker-assisted selection in the aquaculture industry.

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