Genomic selection for white spot syndrome virus resistance in whiteleg shrimp boosts survival under an experimental challenge test

Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 25;10(1):20571. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-77580-3.


White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) causes major worldwide losses in shrimp aquaculture. The development of resistant shrimp populations is an attractive option for management of the disease. However, heritability for WSSV resistance is generally low and genetic improvement by conventional selection has been slow. This study was designed to determine the power and accuracy of genomic selection to improve WSSV resistance in Litopenaeus vannamei. Shrimp were experimentally challenged with WSSV and resistance was evaluated as dead or alive (DOA) 23 days after infestation. All shrimp in the challenge test were genotyped for 18,643 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Breeding candidates (G0) were ranked on genomic breeding values for WSSV resistance. Two G1 populations were produced, one from G0 breeders with high and the other with low estimated breeding values. A third population was produced from "random" mating of parent stock. The average survival was 25% in the low, 38% in the random and 51% in the high-genomic breeding value groups. Genomic heritability for DOA (0.41 in G1) was high for this type of trait. The realised genetic gain and high heritability clearly demonstrates large potential for further genetic improvement of WSSV resistance in the evaluated L. vannamei population using genomic selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aquaculture / methods
  • Disease Resistance / genetics*
  • Genomics
  • Genotype
  • Penaeidae / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Selective Breeding / genetics
  • White spot syndrome virus 1 / genetics*
  • White spot syndrome virus 1 / pathogenicity