The Royal of Surgeons (Surgeons' Hall), Edinburgh, where the fourth ICISB is being held this week. Photo: Wikimedia / Kim Traynor.

Genetics experts focus on salmon leap forward

Scientists from around the world were meeting in Edinburgh today to discuss the significant developments that have been made in salmonid genetics in recent years.

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The fourth International Conference on Integrative Salmonid Biology (ICISB) is running over three days and is being held at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The theme of ICISB 2019 is Beyond the genome: taking leaps forward in salmonid biology, which organisers say reflects the recent staggering progress in genomic resource development and exploitation since the Atlantic salmon reference genome was published in 2016. 

Fergus Ewing was due to open the conference.

Genome-enabled research

The event will showcase the breadth of current genome-enabled research in salmonid biology, ranging from fundamental questions in ecology, evolution and physiology to addressing the most pressing challenges for aquaculture and welfare.

Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, a fervent supporter of the nation’s salmon farming industry, was due to give the opening talk before a morning session on genome resources and evolution of salmonids and a session on functional genomics and annotation lasting all afternoon.

Precision breeding

Tomorrow’s sessions focus on advances on precision breeding and environment, ecology and conservation, and three sessions on Wednesday look at industrial perspectives, physiology and nutrition, and immunology, disease and host-pathogen interactions.

ICISB 2019 follows on from previous meetings in 2012 (Oslo), 2014 (Vancouver) and 2016 (Puerto Varas, Chile).

The ICISB meetings have been core funded and organised by the International Cooperation to Sequence the Atlantic Salmon Genome (ICSASG), a trilateral effort between Canada, Chile and Norway.