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Genetic variability in residual feed intake in rainbow trout clones and testing of indirect selection criteria (Open Access publication)

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Genetics Selection Evolution200840:607

Received: 10 January 2008

Accepted: 1 July 2008

Published: 15 November 2008


Little is known about the genetic basis of residual feed intake (RFI) variation in fish, since this trait is highly sensitive to environmental influences, and feed intake of individuals is difficult to measure accurately. The purpose of this work was (i) to assess the genetic variability of RFI estimated by an X-ray technique and (ii) to develop predictive criteria for RFI. Two predictive criteria were tested: loss of body weight during feed deprivation and compensatory growth during re-feeding. Ten heterozygous rainbow trout clones were used. Individual intake and body weight were measured three times at threeweek intervals. Then, individual body weight was recorded after two cycles of a three-week feed deprivation followed by a three-week re-feeding. The ratio of the genetic variance to the phenotypic variance was found high to moderate for growth, feed intake, and RFI (VG/VP = 0.63 ± 0.11, 0.29 ± 0.11, 0.29 ± 0.09, respectively). The index that integrates performances achieved during deprivation and re-feeding periods explained 59% of RFI variations. These results provide a basis for further studies on the origin of RFI differences and show that indirect criteria are good candidates for future selective breeding programs.


  • rainbow trout
  • clone
  • residual feed intake
  • indirect criteria
  • selection

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Authors’ Affiliations

INRA, Domaine de Vilvert, Jouy-en-Josas, France
Ifremer, Station d'aquaculture expérimentale, chemin de Maguelone, Palavas-les-Flots, France
INRA, UR 631 Station d'amélioration génétique des animaux, Castanet-Tolosan, France


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008