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Genetic improvement of the herbivorous blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala)


  • Li, S.F.
  • Cai, W.Q.


Selection experiments with the herbivorous blunt snout bream or Wuchang bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) were started in 1985. Mass selection for size and length/depth ratio resulted in a significant increase in growth and better shape, while inbreeding led to a significant decrease in growth. The total selection ratio from fry to mature brooders was about 0.03 per cent per generation. In the grow out stage, the average daily body weight gains of two lines of fifth generation (F5) fish were 29 per cent and 20 per cent respectively more than the control group, with an average of 5.8 per cent and 4 per cent improvements per generation, respectively. The body was 4 per cent deeper in ratio of standard length/body depth. The effects of inbreeding were examined by crossing full-sibs, the offspring of which were kept without selection. The third generation inbred fish showed 17 per cent lower growth as compared to the control group, with an average of 7.5 per cent per generation. The results demonstrate that selection is a powerful tool to improve the economic traits of the blunt snout bream, but inbreeding can rapidly lead to a reduction in performance. In 2000, the 6th generation of selected bream was certified by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture as a good breed for aquaculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, S.F. & Cai, W.Q., 2003. "Genetic improvement of the herbivorous blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala)," Naga, The WorldFish Center, vol. 26(1), pages 20-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfi:wfnaga:36031

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    Selective breeding; Fish culture; Growth; Body size; China; People's Rep.; Megalobrama amblycephala;

    JEL classification:

    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General


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