An array used to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in samples. An SNP is a genomic variant at a single base position in the DNA. Scientists study if and how SNPs in a genome influence a variety of traits. Benchmark's high density genotyping utilises between 20,000 and 70,000 SNPs. Its low density genotyping uses between one and 500 SNPs.

Benchmark expands ‘affordable’ genetics services

Changes significantly improve access to advanced genomic tools across the global fish farming industry, says aquaculture biotechnology company


Aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark Holdings’ genetics division has expanded its offerings with affordable genotyping tools and services, it said today.

Benchmark Genetics said the move, which includes tissue sample-to-data genotyping from €14.50 (£12.41) per sample, significantly improves access to advanced genomic tools across the global industry, making Benchmark a comprehensive provider for genetic support services.

“Building on the combined experience of Benchmark Genetics and the Akvaforsk Genetics Centre, this expansion is based on years of design and technical support for selection programs across more than 20 aquaculture species worldwide,” said Benchmark, which one of the world's leading providers of eyed salmon eggs.

“The company now offers a complete suite of genetic improvement services ranging from advanced multi-trait programs to cost-effective, targeted programs that fit seamlessly into existing commercial farming operations.”

Low-cost solutions

Benchmark's updated portfolio includes high-density arrays and genotyping services for a wide range of farmed aquaculture species, along with medium-density solutions for others. The offering capitalises on Benchmark’s large-scale genotyping within its salmon and shrimp breeding programs, with services including high-density array genotyping from €14.5 for several species.

The company has also introduced low-density, low-cost genotyping solutions for parentage assignment and the analysis of genetic diversity in broodstock populations. Benchmark said it also collaborates with partners to design and launch new genotyping tools, ensuring accessibility and affordability.

It has significant expertise in genotyping tool design, via the recently established Molecular Genetics team led by experienced geneticist Dr Carolina Penaloza.

Delivering value

"Integrating the latest technology with cost-effectiveness is central to our mission of delivering value to our partners in the aquaculture sector,” said Dr Morten Rye, Benchmark Genetics’ external services director.

“We are committed to providing innovative and sustainable solutions that drive improvements critical for the industry’s growth.”

The company’s innovation and genetics director Professor Ross Houston, who previously carried out pioneering research into aquaculture genetics at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute, said: “Combining our high quality, cost-effective genotyping with our leading expertise in breeding program design and implementation is a winning combination for clients.”

The increasing capacity and affordability of computer analytics has made genetic analysis faster and more affordable, with some forms of analysis now commonly offered by fish health diagnostics companies to confirm the presence of a suspected disease.

Among other things, genetic analysis is also used to identify desirable traits in farmed fish so that farmers can select the best broodstock for their needs.