Different Horses for Different Courses: Revisiting SPF/SPR/SPT *

Dr Morten Rye, Managing Director, Akvaforsk Genetics Center, Norway

The global shrimp aquaculture sector is now dominated by farming of Penaeus vannamei, a species
native to the tropical Pacific coast. Current disease management strategies in Southeast Asia primarily focus on exclusion and eradication, and use of SPF stocks combined with strict quarantine and importation protocols. These measures have not been effective in controlling disease epidemics, which continue to threaten and sporadically decimate shrimp aquaculture in the region.

Current commercial shrimp stocks are largely derived from imported SPF stocks susceptible to endemic diseases, and local breeding programs are based on founder populations with a narrow genetic base that lack resistance to a wide range of pathogens. The use of disease-free and well-managed genetically improved disease resistant populations offers the opportunity to stabilize shrimp production systems in Asia.

Benchmark’s Genética Spring breeding program in Colombia has developed robust P. vannamei
populations with high levels of resistance to major pathogens affecting the global shrimp industry by
uniquely combining SPF and SPR approaches. The program is currently implementing novel genomic
tools to further increase its efficacy.

This presentation will discuss alternative SPF/SPR/SPT strategies based on experiences and results obtained from the Colombian program, and possible implications for improved disease management strategies in Southeast Asia.

*Co-authors: Marcela Salazar, James Cock and Oscar Hennig, Genética Spring, Benchmark Breeding & Genetics, Cartagena, Colombia