PRESS RELEASE – Aquaculture Industry Receives New Impulse from Horizon 2020 Programme

Aquaculture Industry Receives New Impulse from Horizon 2020 Programme

On 1 June 2015 a new Horizon 2020 programme, EMBRIC (European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster), kicks off a series of activities to bring Europe’s ‘blue bioeconomy’ agenda to the fore. Funded with €9 million over the next four years, EMBRIC will connect marine biotechnology initiatives that focus on science, industry and regional development.

Marine biotechnology seeks to unlock the vast economic potential presented by living systems in the world’s oceans. Fragmentation has made it difficult to exploit this potential to its fullest – for example research services that operate in isolation, barriers (practical and cultural) between academic and commercial R&D, and a lack of harmony in regional innovation policies. EMBRIC seeks to overcome these barriers by linking biological and social science research infrastructures throughout Europe, and by joining up aligned efforts in science, industry and regions.

Dr Tom Ashton, of “Xelect Ltd. – Genetic solutions for aquaculture”, commented: “EMBRIC is well placed to build on natural synergies between innovative companies and leading researchers throughout Europe. We expect EMBRIC to create the essential scientific, commercial and social links that Europe needs to deliver substantial economic and scientific gain through marine biotechnology for years to come”.

EMBRIC will put substantial efforts into developing the resources needed for the selective breeding of shellfish and finfish.  This part of the work will focus on commercial needs, ensuring their practices and strategic goals are in line with cutting-edge molecular research largely performed outside of companies. Leading companies involved in the project include TUNATECH GmbH in Germany [http://www.tunatech.de/], XELECT Ltd. in Scotland [http://www.xelect.co.uk] and SCALPRO in Norway. They will collaborate with the University of St Andrews in Scotland, INRA in France, Marine Science Scotland, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in Greece and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI, www.ebi.ac.uk), located in the United Kingdom.

European shellfish production has shown low growth (~4% increase/year) relative to other parts of the world. To transform Europe’s growth prospects in this sector, companies need to develop and implement ‘biosecure’ hatcheries as well as selective breeding to improve disease resistance, tolerance to environmental stresses and growth.

A key task for EMBRIC will be to develop protocols for assessing the most commercially important traits of growth, yield and disease resistance, and this will be done using King scallop (Pecten maximus) from cultivation sites in Norway and Scotland as a model species. The partners will also develop methodologies for ‘disease-challenge trials’ to establish this organism’s susceptibility and resistance to Vibrio spp. and other pathogens traditionally associated with death in shellfish.

EMBRIC will evaluate methods to assess import traits for selection in finfish, including feed-conversion efficiency (European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax), parasite resistance (Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar), flesh texture and fat content (Atlantic Bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus), and growth rates (larval and fingerling of greater amberjack, Seriola dumerili).

Global aquaculture production has yet to benefit from any form of genetic improvement, but technologies have improved so dramatically in recent years that this is set to change. Next-generation DNA sequencing technologies have fallen in price dramatically, stimulating research and leading to a raft of relevant genome sequences available to study many shellfish and finfish of commercial importance. This has already resulted in new genetic tools for stock management that are used in family-selection programs, and the adoption of marker-assisted selection for disease resistance and increased meat yield in Atlantic salmon.

EMBRIC will conduct a comprehensive survey of the genetic resources available for selective breeding and develop industry standards and new pipelines for genetic marker discovery in order to ensure that industry benefits from the latest research.

By enabling researchers to involve industry from the beginning of the experimental process, EMBRIC will accelerate translation by allowing companies to integrate results and protocols directly into commercial processes. The EMBRIC “Company Forum” will be open to anyone working in aquaculture, providing a platform for sharing and discussing results and fostering interaction amongst diverse stakeholders.

ABOUT EMBRIC

EMBRIC resource development is coordinated by Professor Ian Johnston (iaj@st-andrews.ac.uk) of the School of Biology, University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK. The Company Forum will be led by Professor Chris Bridges (bridges@hhu.de) of TUNATECH in Germany.

EMBRIC is coordinated by the ESFRI Research Infrastructure EMBRC – European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC), which brings together excellent and unique marine biology research facilities from France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Israel, Norway and the UK. EMBRC headquarters is situated in central Paris at the Jussieu Campus of the University of Pierre & Marie Curie (UPMC). The project is coordinated by Professor Bernard Kloareg (UPMC, Roscoff).

For further information about the selective breeding in aquaculture work package of EMBRIC or the proposed Company Forum, contact:

Ian Johnston 44-1334-463440

or Christopher Bridges +491739531905


PRESS RELEASE – CROMARIS AND XELECT AGREE GENETIC SERVICE CONTRACT

PRESS RELEASE – CROMARIS AND XELECT AGREE GENETIC SERVICE CONTRACT

March 2018 - Cromaris, the leading Croatian bass and bream producer, has chosen Scotland’s Xelect Ltd as their provider of genetic services. Xelect will provide a complete package of genetic management to the selective breeding program in support of Cromaris’ continued advances in product quality, welfare and sustainability.

Aberdeen intern makes great progress

Aberdeen intern makes great progress

Alicia Bertolotti has spent the last 3 months performing an internship placement at Xelect in St Andrews.

PRESS RELEASE – NEW ZEALAND KING SALMON AND XELECT AGREE 4 YEAR BREEDING PROGRAM MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

PRESS RELEASE – NEW ZEALAND KING SALMON AND XELECT AGREE 4 YEAR BREEDING PROGRAM MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

New Zealand King Salmon, the producers of the internationally renowned Ōra King breed have chosen Scotland’s Xelect Ltd as their provider of genetic breeding program management for the next 4 years, after an extensive worldwide search.

EXPERT GENOMIC CONSULTANT JOINS OUR TEAM

EXPERT GENOMIC CONSULTANT JOINS OUR TEAM

We are delighted announce the appointment of Dr Chris Hollenbeck as a specialist consultant in fish genomics.

PRESS RELEASE – CERMAQ

PRESS RELEASE – CERMAQ

Xelect is delighted to announce a licence and genetic services agreement with Atlantic salmon producer Cermaq Canada, granting access to Xelect’s proprietary genetic marker technology for selecting fish with superior production traits.

PRESS RELEASE – Xelect Secure Investment for Growth

PRESS RELEASE – Xelect Secure Investment for Growth

Xelect limited and the EOS Technology Investment Syndicate are pleased to announce the completion of an equity investment round.

XELECT WIN MOST ENTERPRISING START-UP AWARD

XELECT WIN MOST ENTERPRISING START-UP AWARD

Xelect were proud winners of the Most Enterprising Start-up Company at the recent Fife Business awards, hosted by Fife Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate prospering local businesses.

AQUANOR 2015

AQUANOR 2015

We had a busy and productive visit to Trondheim, Norway, for AquaNor 2015, where we hosted a stand for the second time. There was a real sense of energy and exciting business opportunity across the aquaculture industry.

PRESS RELEASE – High yield tilapia coming to the fillet market

PRESS RELEASE – High yield tilapia coming to the fillet market

GenoMar, the world’s premier tilapia breeding company today announces a partnership with Xelect Ltd., a global leader in marker assisted selection to bring higher yielding tilapia to the market.

PRESS RELEASE – Aquaculture Industry Receives New Impulse from Horizon 2020 Programme

PRESS RELEASE – Aquaculture Industry Receives New Impulse from Horizon 2020 Programme

Aquaculture Industry Receives New Impulse from Horizon 2020 Programme

eDNA ASSAY FOR INVASIVE SEA-SQUIRT

eDNA ASSAY FOR INVASIVE SEA-SQUIRT

We now offer validated eDNA detection for the invasive carpet sea-squirt, Didemnum vexillum. This species poses threats to aquaculture and fragile marine habitats as it forms a rapid encrusting growth.

XELECT TO CO-FUND PHD STUDENTSHIP AT ABERDEEN

XELECT TO CO-FUND PHD STUDENTSHIP AT ABERDEEN

Xelect will be the industrial sponsor of an exciting PhD studentship in the research group of Dr Dan Macqueen at the University of Aberdeen.

DOWNLOAD ATLANTIC SALMON MARKERS BROCHURE

DOWNLOAD ATLANTIC SALMON MARKERS BROCHURE

We are very pleased to announce that we have expanded our range of broodstock selection markers for Atlantic salmon and have identified QTLs for muscle fibre number and pigment retention efficiency, ready for validation in commercial strains.

BROWN TROUT GENETIC RELATEDNESS – NEW SERVICE

BROWN TROUT GENETIC RELATEDNESS – NEW SERVICE

We have now added brown trout, Salmo trutta, to our range of genetic relatedness and parentage assignment services.

XELECT ASSIST DAWNFRESH WITH TEXTURE ANALYSIS

XELECT ASSIST DAWNFRESH WITH TEXTURE ANALYSIS

Xelect are providing assistance and training in the establishment of a new texture monitoring facility at Dawnfresh, a major UK processor and farmer of high quality rainbow trout.

XELECT AT AQUACULTURE UK

XELECT AT AQUACULTURE UK

We had a busy and productive couple of days at Aviemore. It was good to meet customers old and new!

XELECT AWARDED SMART:SCOTLAND FUNDING

XELECT AWARDED SMART:SCOTLAND FUNDING

February 2014 Scottish Enterprise have awarded Xelect Ltd a SMART: SCOTLAND grant to develop genetic tests for selecting broodstock Atlantic salmon with superior production traits for farming.

TEXTURE ANALYSIS SERVICE

TEXTURE ANALYSIS SERVICE

We are pleased to announce a new texture analysis service for salmon and trout.
Precise firmness and tensile (gaping) measurements available to farmers and processors.
Standard and same-day services available!

XELECT AWARDED TSB FUNDING

XELECT AWARDED TSB FUNDING

Xelect has been awarded funding from the Technology Strategy Board as part of its “Technology Inspired Feasibility Studies – Biosciences” scheme to develop “Automated image analysis of muscle phenotypes for genetic marker discovery in Atlantic salmon”. The project commences in August and will run for 4 months”.

TRIPLOIDY ANALYSIS SERVICE LAUNCHED

TRIPLOIDY ANALYSIS SERVICE LAUNCHED

We are pleased to announce that we are now offering a rapid and cost-effective flow cytometry service to determine triploidy in fish.

SALMOBREED LICENSE HIGH YIELD MARKERS

SALMOBREED LICENSE HIGH YIELD MARKERS

Salmobreed has licensed Xelect’s High Fillet Yield (HFY-1) markers for exclusive use in Europe. Fish selected using HFY-1 have up to 6% more recoverable flesh than unselected fish worth ~£600 per tonne at current market prices.