Selection Markers

Xelect has developed proprietary selection markers for increased fillet yield, growth and superior flesh quality in Atlantic salmon.

Our selection markers are available for licensing separately or as part of our broodstock genetics service.

Xelect has considerable expertise in genetic marker discovery and is happy to discuss any customer requirements for marker assisted or genomic selection, including custom SNP chip design.


Muscle fibre number is a highly variable trait in Atlantic salmon varying up to 3-fold between individuals.  The resulting variation in muscle fibre density has a profound effect on growth characteristics and flesh quality, particularly texture, colour visualisation and gaping.

HFN Marker Brochure (pdf)

zoom image

We have identified 3 SNPs on different chromosomes that have additive effects on muscle fibre number. Selecting broodstock with one or more of these SNPs will result in fish that are capable of fast growth whilst having a firm texture, good colour visualisation and exhibiting markedly reduced levels of post-mortem gaping.

zoom image


Xelect has identified 2 SNPs in genes involved with muscle formation and protein breakdown that are strongly associated with fillet yield. Selection of broodstock with the favourable alleles results in offspring with 3.6% higher fillet yield than unselected fish.