Estimation of genetic parameters for the implementation of selective breeding in commercial insect production - Genetics Selection Evolution Access content directly
Journal Articles Genetics Selection Evolution Year : 2024

Estimation of genetic parameters for the implementation of selective breeding in commercial insect production

Laura Skrubbeltrang Hansen
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Stine Frey Laursen
Simon Bahrndorff
Morten Kargo
Jesper Givskov Sørensen
Goutam Sahana
Hanne Marie Nielsen
Torsten Nygaard Kristensen


AbstractBackgroundThere is a burgeoning interest in using insects as a sustainable source of food and feed, particularly by capitalising on various waste materials and by-products that are typically considered of low value. Enhancing the commercial production of insects can be achieved through two main approaches: optimising environmental conditions and implementing selective breeding strategies. In order to successfully target desirable traits through selective breeding, having a thorough understanding of the genetic parameters pertaining to those traits is essential. In this study, a full-sib half-sib mating design was used to estimate variance components and heritabilities for larval size and survival at day seven of development, development time and survival from egg to adult, and to estimate correlations between these traits, within an outbred population of house flies (Musca domestica), using high-throughput phenotyping for data collection.ResultsThe results revealed low to intermediate heritabilities and positive genetic correlations between all traits except development time and survival to day seven of development and from egg to adulthood. Surprisingly, larval size at day seven exhibited a comparatively low heritability (0.10) in contrast to development time (0.25), a trait that is believed to have a stronger association with overall fitness. A decline in family numbers resulting from low mating success and high overall mortality reduced the amount of available data which resulted in large standard errors for the estimated parameters. Environmental factors made a substantial contribution to the phenotypic variation, which was overall high for all traits.ConclusionsThere is potential for genetic improvement in all studied traits and estimates of genetic correlations indicate a partly shared genetic architecture among the traits. All estimates have large standard errors. Implementing high-throughput phenotyping is imperative for the estimation of genetic parameters in fast developing insects, and facilitates age synchronisation, which is vital in a breeding population. In spite of endeavours to minimise non-genetic sources of variation, all traits demonstrated substantial influences from environmental components. This emphasises the necessity of thorough attention to the experimental design before breeding is initiated in insect populations.
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Dates and versions

hal-04531069 , version 1 (03-04-2024)



Laura Skrubbeltrang Hansen, Stine Frey Laursen, Simon Bahrndorff, Morten Kargo, Jesper Givskov Sørensen, et al.. Estimation of genetic parameters for the implementation of selective breeding in commercial insect production. Genetics Selection Evolution, 2024, 56 (1), pp.21. ⟨10.1186/s12711-024-00894-7⟩. ⟨hal-04531069⟩
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