AquaInnovo develops technology for tilapia genetic improvement
2017-04-11 17:51:40   copyfrom:    hits:

Aquainnovo business model aims to solve important production problems through genetic selection programs (Imagen: S

Aquainnovo business model aims to solve important production problems through genetic selection programs. (Imagen: Stock File)


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Wednesday, April 05, 2017, 21:30 (GMT + 9)


Genetic company AquaInnovo, part of Empresas AquaChile, dedicated to research and development (R & D) in the aquaculture sector, seeks to consolidate abroad through the export of its technological services.

The firm, born from a technology consortium ten years ago, recently developed and validated technology for the use of a chip that allows the analysis of Atlantic salmon at genomic level to more efficiently select the most resistant candidates for diseases such as SRS (salmonidic rickettsial septicemia) and caligus.

How does it work? A DNA sample of each fish is entered into the chip and afterwards, on analysing it the genotypes for improved genetic evaluation processes are obtained. These allow a ranking of the most resistant fish to be reproduced from their eggs (roes).

Currently, and with a similar method, the company works on the technology for a chip that can be implemented in tilapia. With this species, unlike salmon, AquaInnovo plans to grow in markets such as Brazil, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

With 50 per cent of CORFO's contributions, through its High Technology Program, the project meant a total investment close to USD 2.5 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Matías del Campo, general manager of AquaInnovo, says that it will not be the tilapia eggs that will be marketed, as it can be done with the genetically improved salmon eggs in the national market.

In the case of tilapia, AquaInnovo will provide the DNA genetic analysis service of the breeding fish for the customers so that from the results, among their resources the firms can choose the fish with the best genetic characteristics.

"We want companies to see us as a technological hub to work in their areas of Research and Development," says del Campo.

The executive adds that they expect to increase their sales by 30 per cent as a result of the implementation of this technology, within two or three years.

In addition to working on genetic improvement, AquaInnovo also creates products for fish, such as vaccines or new sustainable diets under contract and in partnership with customers at Aquaculture Technology Centre Patagonia (ATC Patagonia).

Source: Catalina Jofré / Diario Financiero

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