The greatest problem currently facing aquaculture and fisheries is genetic degradation of broodstock; this is due to the harmful effects of inbreeding of broodstocks as commercial aquaculture production increases. Genetic improvement of aquaculture species offers a substantial opportunity for increasing production of aquaculture operations and businesses. The USDA has listed genetic improvement of aquaculture species as a top research priority. Genetic improvement programs within aquaculture species such as salmonids, tilapia, and catfish have resulted in 15-20% gain in growth rate per generation. Therefore, the real challenge for the next decade is to get the aquaculture industries to introduce effective genetic improvement programs using selective breeding.
Research interests and focuses:
· Integrated genetic improvement of yellow perch broodstock for growth.
· Selective breeding for stress resistance in yellow perch.
· Developing genetically all-female populations of yellow perch.
· Genetic improvement of soybean diet utilization rate of yellow perch.
· Developing genetically male bluegill populations and broodstock.
· Developing genetically fast-growing monosex male populations in bluegill.
· Quantify genetic variation of different wild and cultured strains of largemouth bass.
· Genetic improvement of largemouth bass broodstocks.