Collaborative research between Benchmark Genetics and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit (AAHRU) in Auburn, Alabama, has been awarded the USDA-ARS Southeast Area Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. The award recognized the pioneering work on selection for improved disease resistance in Nile tilapia.

This pioneering work commenced in 2014 and has produced impressive results with the potential for significant impact across the global tilapia sector. The direction of the company congratulated the whole team on this “fantastic achievement”, as they said.

“Improved disease resistance is a key to improved animal welfare, environmental and economic sustainability, and thus to the success of the tilapia industry. Bacterial disease outbreaks cost the global tilapia sector more than $ 1 billion per year in losses and are difficult to treat”, said from Benchmark Genetics.

Benchmark Genetics and USDA-ARS

Potential for significant impact across the global tilapia sector

The pioneering work on selection for improved disease resistance in Nile tilapia recognized by this award commenced in 2014 and has produced impressive results with the potential for significant impact across the global tilapia sector.

Researchers from USDA’s Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit (AAHRU) in Auburn, Alabama, found that their expertise in tilapia diseases complemented the strengths of two industry partners: Spring Genetics, which has expertise in tilapia breeding and production, and Benchmark Genetics Norway, specialists in selective breeding in aquaculture.

The AAHRU researchers and their Benchmark colleagues have developed effective models for large-scale controlled challenge testing of breeding nucleus families, facilitating effective selection for improved resistance to major bacterial pathogens impacting tilapia production globally.

Implementation of marker-assisted selection

Furthermore, combined with advanced genomic information, this work has paved the way for the implementation of marker-assisted selection for resistance to Streptococcus iniae and genomic selection for S. agalactiae and Francisella Orientalis in Spring Genetics’ breeding program, further improving the efficacy of selection.

“Facilitated through Material Transfer Research Agreements (MTRA), this collaboration has contributed to the development of Benchmark’s Spring Tilapia strain,” they assured. Through generations of combined selection for disease resistance and other important traits like growth, the Spring Tilapia strain is among the highest performing Nile tilapia globally.

Benchmark Holdings achieves an “excellent performance” in its interim results

Aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark has reported a one-third increase in revenues and a doubling of adjusted earnings in the first half of the current fiscal year. Benchmark said it had benefitted from continued strong momentum in Advanced Nutrition, with growth in revenues and earnings for all product groups and areas.

The Chief Executive at Benchmark Holdings, Trond Williksen, said that “the company delivered an excellent performance in the first half of the year. Evidence continues of the benefits of a restructured organization with renewed commercial focus and financial discipline driving growth and returns.”

The listed company reported revenue of £79.2 millions (almost USD 100 millions) for the six months ended 31 March 2022, up 33% from £59.5 millions (near of USD 75 millions) in the same period of 2020/21.

Participation in the first webinar in the World Hatchery Forum

On the other hand, Benchmark Genetics Shrimp participated in the first webinar in the World Hatchery Forum, which took place on some weeks ago, focusing on innovative shrimp feeds and management and genetics. Was Oscar Hennig who spoke on behalf of the company about genetics, nutrition, health an environment management for successful harvest and cumulative gain on the value chain.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Benchmark Genetics Shrimp has achieved a 10% share of the Indian market in its quest to become one of the top three shrimp genetics suppliers in the world.

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