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Is there a genetic basis to growth in Atlantic cod?
Imsland, A.K.; Jónsdóttir, O.D.B. (2002). Is there a genetic basis to growth in Atlantic cod? Fish Fish. 3(1): 36-52
In: Fish and Fisheries. Blackwell Science: Oxford. ISSN 1467-2960, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Genotypes; Growth; Life history; Population genetics; Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Imsland, A.K.
  • Jónsdóttir, O.D.B.

Abstract
    There is still much disagreement and debate about whether or not genetically based growth differences occur in Atlantic cod, and there is evidence on both sides. In this review, data on genetically based growth differences in cod will be presented to shed light on this hypothesis. Motivated by the hypothesis that growth patterns may reflect specific genotype adaptations, we review stock-specific responses on growth. An example of genetically based differences between the population units at two spawning localities off south Iceland is discussed. Here, significant differences in growth performance of the different Syp-I genotypes were found. Also, the cod sampled at Loftstaðahraun displayed higher mean weight and length compared to the cod from Kantur indicating that these population units may display different life histories. Other studies have shown conflicting results depending on which side of the Atlantic the problem has been investigated. We propose that a common-garden meta-analysis with several cod stocks from both sides of the Atlantic is needed to give any reasonable answer to the question of genetically based growth differences. Until such studies have been conducted, it is premature to conclude one way or the other. In this review, we have not tried to quantify how large the environmental part of growth regulation versus the genetic part is, as this information is not available in the published literature on cod. Based on recent research on two flatfish species (turbot and Atlantic halibut), approximately 30% of growth variation is caused by genetical factors, but it remains to be seen if this is similar in cod. A fruitful way to continue this research might be to conduct controlled experiments, where performance (growth, food intake, feed conversion efficiency, feeding behaviour, etc.) and environmental factors (e.g. temperature, oxygen, photoperiod, predation risk, food availability) are studied simultaneously for different genotypes and different stocks.

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