Broodstock Genetics Management

Xelect offers a complete service for broodstock genetics management covering finfish, shrimp and shellfish species.

Broodstock Program Support

We use our in-house Research and Development capacity to establish and/or improve broodstock achieving generational genetic gain in commercially important traits including growth, yield, shape, colouration, feed efficiency and disease resistance.

Currently, Xelect manage the complete broodstock genetics programs for producers in Chile, Scotland (Atlantic salmon), Croatia, Greece (European sea bass, gilthead seabream), New Zealand (Pacific salmon) and Vietnam (Asian sea bass) with a combined total production of over 100,000 metric tonnes.

Samples are sent from around the world by courier and processed in St Andrews by our team of molecular biologists, bioinformaticians and quantitative geneticists.

Our broodstock genetic customers are given a dedicated account manager to provide in country support and each program is overseen at Director level.


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Marker panels for emerging species

Xelect develops and validates bespoke genetic marker panels for emerging aquaculture species.

We start by sequencing your own broodstock to provide a firm foundation for the future breeding program.

Our marker panels can assign offspring to parents with 100% accuracy.

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Marker assisted selection

Fillet yield
Xelect has patented genetic marker IP that selects Atlantic salmon with 3.6% higher yield than unselected fish.

Muscle fibre density
Xelect has discovered genetic markers than select Atlantic salmon with a high muscle fibre number (HFN) which is associated with superior flesh quality even under conditions of very fast growth.

HFN Marker Brochure (pdf)

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Expert service provision

Xelect has expertise in artificial selection and with natural spawning.

For mass spawning species we have developed the Optimate software solution to organise the composition of breeding tanks at the level of the whole hatchery to achieve the optimal balance between inbreeding control and genetic gain.

Optimate Datasheet (pdf)

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Fast and cost-effective genotyping

Xelect uses the Fluidigm EP1 microfluidic genotyping platform with a 96 SNP x 95 sample plate format giving a throughput of 576 samples/day.

For larger numbers of SNPs and up to 2,000 samples per run we use a genotyping-by-sequencing method with our Illumina Mi-Seq.

We have a pipetting robot for DNA normalisation which also gives us the ability to handle multiple plate formats.

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Innovative hardware to measure fillet yield, fish shape and colour

Xelect is developing a fish scanner incorporating time a laser and time-of-flight and colour cameras to provide 3D cloud point and 2D colour images.

Sophisticated machine learning and image processing algorithms will allow the non-invasive and accurate determination of shape, colour patterns and fillet yield in living fish.

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