Introducing GeneXpertise – for trout breeders

At Xelect, we’ve long believed that the latest technologies should be for the many, not the few. There’s a lingering myth in aquaculture that genetics is expensive, and that only the largest producers can benefit. The reality is that – due to breakthroughs in computing power and sequencing methods – even small companies should now be able to access the tools they need.

This week we’ve announced the launch of our new GeneXpertise service – a one-stop genetic broodstock health check for trout producers. Whilst we’re best known for providing expert breeding programmes for some of the world’s leading aquaculture companies, we also know that there are hundreds of smaller producers who want to get started with genetics, but don’t yet need a full management service. They just want a bit of practical help to keep their broodstock’s sustainability on track.

For a modest, fixed price GeneXpertise customers will get advice on genetic best practice, a detailed report on the genetic health of their population along with guidance on which crosses to avoid and which to make.

Trout are highly fecund, so without genetic management they are extremely susceptible to inbreeding. A single female can produce thousands of juveniles. This rapidly leads to “inbreeding depression” – a loss of genetic variation, resulting in increased deformity, reduced vigour and poor survival. Once that happens there’s no way back, without purchasing new broodstock animals from a different source.

Xelect CEO, Prof Ian Johnston, says: “Xelect’s experts can help you develop your genetics roadmap and set you on course for the years to come. For example, we can check the genetic health and selection suitability of your broodstock population, or we can provide direct recommendations for your next stripping season. After that you’ll be perfectly placed to improve the sustainability and performance of your breeding programme.”

Xelect Director of Operations, Dr Tom Ashton adds: “GeneXpertise is a very cost-effective way to give your broodstock a boost. It’s clearly not a replacement for our full breeding programme services, but it allows many producers access to a highly specialised team of experts at the scale that’s right for them. It’s also really quick – just a few weeks from start to finish”.

Xelect have also developed a free online 2 Minute Broodstock Genetic Health Check to help business owners get a sense of how they are doing, and what they should look out for.

Full details of GeneXpertise can be found on our website at


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