Edinburgh aquaculture in the news

Our ongoing research into tilapia has received media attention.


Studies undertaken at the Roslin Institute have helped contribute to new scientific studies.

On the 24th of February, a press release put out by the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) discussed ongoing research at the Roslin Institute in close detail. As related by the article, aquaculture specialists at the Roslin Institute (in partner with WorldFish) analysed survival data from a breeding Nile tilapia population to better gauge host resistance to Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV).

Tilapia is an increasingly popular commercial fish in many countries worldwide, in part due to its high protein content. However, TiLV is a major threat to both farmed and wild tilapia in more than 15 countries, with up to a 90% mortality rate among infected specimens, and which presently has no identified vaccine. This research showed that host resistance to TiLV is highly heritable and therefore selective breeding to improve this trait is a promising approach.

Agustin Barria Gonzalez, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow who joined the Roslin Institute’s aquaculture team in 2019, focuses on combating the TiLV through the host genetic perspective. “To reduce mortalities ascribed to TiLV is an urgent challenge that we need to solve,” Agustin says. “Together with WorldFish, we are now working on the implementation of genomic data to better understand the underlying genetics explaining host resistance to TiLV and to improve the response to selection for this trait, by means of Genomic Selection or Marked Assisted Selection.”

The team here at Roslin is delighted to have had their research highlighted by CGIAR, and is continuing their groundbreaking research with the aim of not only helping the tilapia, but also the many people worldwide reliant on it.


 You can read CGIAR's press release on their external website.