Genetics of flesh quality in fish

Flesh quality has gained importance among consumers and in the aquaculture industry because it is directly related to human health and nutrition. Flesh quality comprises several different (freshness, appearance, smell, flavor, texture, taste, firmness, juiciness, and processing and hygienic) characteristics. Due to the large number of traits involved and the ensuing complexity, genetic improvement for flesh quality has been almost neglected in breeding programs for aquaculture species. We studied four groups of traits in the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain: i) carcass (fillet) traits, ii) flesh composition (protein, fat, moisture and ash content), iii) flesh quality attributes (pH, color), and iv) fatty acid composition. In this paper we review the effects of non-genetic factors, and we report genetic parameters and correlated responses in flesh quality traits to selection for high growth in GIFT. The discussion includes other farmed aquaculture species.


Nguyen, N.H., Ponzoni, R.W., Hamzah, A., Yee, H.Y., Abu-Bakar, K.R., Khaw, H.L. (2010)
Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Leipzig, Germany [open access]