Aquaculture Introduction


Through deeper understanding of the plant and animal genetic principles and through application of specific manipulations the green and white revolutions were possible in India. A sustainable 'blue' revolution is similar also surely possible in the manner.

Oceans are very vast ecosystems and are gifted with abundant resources for research and development. Oceanic organisms constitute a major share of the earth's biological resources. However the potential of this domain is largely unexplored. A majority of marine microorganisms are yet to be identified and those which are identified are not that studied, preventing their commercial exploitation. As regards agriculture and animal husbandry, adoption of biotechnolog y in fisheries also has proved useful in many aspects. A great potential for fruitful research in biotechnology exists in aquaculture cultivable species, improved too. Development of popular strains of mono -sex production for enhanced varieties,

productivity, cryo-preservation of gametes for off -season breeding and effluent treatment for sustainable aquaculture, etc. are the thrust areas where considerable work can be done. By employing biotechnological tools, remarkable improvements can be made in the field of aquaculture management like health and nutrition f fishes, development of new products, extraction of medicines and other useful compounds. Oceanic organisms posses unique structures, metabolic pathways, reproductive systems and sensory and defence mechanisms. With their vast genetic and physiological diversity, marine organisms are treasure houses of new classes of chemicals and processes including pharmaceuticals, polymers, enzymes, vaccines and diagnostic and analytical reagents. Thus aquatic organisms are not only valued as food but also as sources of commerce and recreation. Aquaculture involves farming of aquatic organisms (rather than hunting of fish form natural water bodies for eating) including fishes, molluscs, crustaceans and plants. There seems to be ample scope for the application of a variety of biotechnological techniques, starting from the simple selective breeding, chromosome manipulation, transgenesis, mono -sex culture, fish cell and tissue culture, nutrition and fish health, disease diagnosis, cryoprservation of fish gametes and embryos for enhancing aquaculture production in India.

Transgenic Fish ±

Genetically modified fish has promoters driving an over -production of "all fish" growth

hormone. This resulted in dramatic growth enhancement in several species,

includingsalmonids,[1]carps[2] and tilapias.[3] These fish have been created for use in the aquaculture industry to increase the speed of development and potentially, reduce fishing pressure on wild stocks. None of these GM fish have yet appeared on the market, mainly due to the concern expressed among the public of the fish's potential negative effect on the ecosystem should they escape from fish farms.[citation needed] The GloFish is a patented brand of genetically modified (GM) fluorescent zebrafish with bright red, green, and orange fluorescent color. Although not originally developed for the ornamental fish trade, it is the first genetically modified animal to become publicly available as a pet.

Attempts to produce transgenic fish started in 1985 and some encouraging results have been obtained. The genes that have been introduced by microinjection in fish include the following: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) winter E. flounder human chicken E. coli gene trout or gene coli gene for antifreeze gene rat for gene, for protein for gene delta for neomycin (flounder growth = for growth crystalline hormone, protein, -galactosidase, resistance, flat fish),



The technique of microinjection has been successfully used to generate transgenic fish in many species such as common carp, catfish, goldfish, loach, medaka, salmon, Tilapia, rainbow trout and zebrafish.

In other animals (e.g. mice, cows, pigs, sheep and rabbits), usually direct microinjection of cloned DNA into male pronuclei of fertilized eggs has proved very successful, but in most fish species studied so far, pronuclei can not be easily visualized (except in medaka), so that the DNA needs to be injected into the cytoplasm. Eggs and sperms from mature individuals are collected and placed into a separate dry container. Fertilization is initiated by adding water and sperm to eggs, with gentle stirring to facilitate the fertilization process.

Egg shells are hardened in water. About 106 to 108 molecules of linearized DNA in a volume

Human growth hormone gene transferred to transgenic fish allowed growth that was twice the size of their corresponding non. Further. rainbow trout. Since in fish. fertilization is external. eggs are incubated in appropriate hatching trays and dead embryos arc removed daily.transgenic fish (goldfish.of 20 ml or less are microinjected into each egg (1-4 cells stage) within the first few hours after fertilization. salmon). so that the survival rate in fish is much higher (35% to 80%). It was shown that the level of AFP gene expression is still too low to provide protection against freeze. . Following microinjection. the injection into the cytoplasm is not as harmful as that into the nucleus. Similarly antifreeze protein (AFP) gene was transferred in several cases and its expression as studied in transgenic salmon. in vitro culturing of embryos and their subsequent transfer into foster mothers (required in mammalian systems) is not required.

GloFish are available for purchase in three stunningly beautiful colors: Starfire Red®. or in classrooms.GLOSFISH® FLUORESCENT FISH FAQ GloFish® are brilliantly wonderful fish that add color and excitement to any aquarium. molecular biology. whether at home or the office. Want to know more about GloFish? Click on a topic to learn more: ‡ The Science of GloFish® ‡ GloFish® and the Environment ‡ Caring for GloFish® ‡ Displaying GloFish® ‡ Where to Purchase GloFish® ‡ GloFish® Marketing and Media ‡ GloFish® Ethics ‡ GloFish® in California The Science of GloFish® Where do GloFish® fluorescent zebrafish come from? GloFish® fluorescent zebrafish were originally bred to help detect environmental pollutants. GloFish are similar to other zebrafish. maintains the color throughout its life. By adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish. The first step in developing a pollution detecting fish was to create fish that would be fluorescent all the time. and passes the color along to its offspring. a process which lead to GloFish® fluorescent fish. Today's GloFish fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of fluorescent zebra fish that were originally developed several years ago. fluorescent zebrafish have been relied upon by scientists worldwide to better understand important questions in genetics. and vertebrate . How common is the use of fluorescent zebrafish in sci ence? For over a decade. scientists hoped to one day quickly and easily determine when a waterway is contaminated. except they have a much brighter disposition. Each new GloFish fluorescent fish inherits its unique color directly from its parents. and Sunburst Orange®. Scientists soon realized the public's interest in sharing the benefits of this research. Electric Green®.

they may be offered for sale to the public. Do you have to add a fluorescence gene to every fish before it hatches? No. Where does the fluorescent color come from? The fluorescent color in our fish is produced by a fluorescent protein gene. scientists are hoping to one day develop a ¶switch· that will cause always-fluorescing zebrafish to selectively fluoresce in the presence of environmental toxins. Once the gene integrates into the genome (i. The general process of developing fluorescent fish. all subsequent fluorescent fish are the result of traditional breeding. How exactly do GloFish® fluorescent zebrafish help in the fight against pollution? To achieve their goal of helping to fight water pollution. as illustrated in this chart. GloFish® Electric Green® Zebra. which creates the beautiful fluorescence that can be seen when looking at the fish.. and passes the color along to its offspring. genetic code) of the embryo. Because of this.e. GloFish® Starfire Red® Zebra.e. Each new GloFish® fluorescent fish inherits its unique color directly from its parents. GloFish® and the Environment Which federal agencies have reviewed these fish? We have submitted detailed information regarding our fish to the U. as they consider the added gene to be an ´animal drugµ. and are derived from marine organisms. Are you going to create more fluorescent fish? Scientists all around the world are working with fluorescent fish. To help further the research. while a fluorescing fish will signal trouble.µ by the National University of Singapore. Does the fluorescence harm the fish? No. For more information on this project. What are the differences between fluorescent zebrafish and other zebrafish? Aside from their brilliant color. Fluorescent zebrafish have been particularly helpful in unders tanding cellular disease and development.development. and GloFish® Sunburst Orange® Zebra) starts with a single fish. The fluorescent protein genes occur naturally. from that point forward.S. Consistent with the findings of scientists worldwide. the FDA. the developing fish will be able to pass the fluorescence gene along to its offspring upon maturity. Scientists originally developed them several years ago by adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish eggs before they hatched. Food & Drug Administration. The fish are as healthy as other zebrafish in every way. fluorescent zebrafish are the same as other zebrafish. As more fluorescent fish become available. Today's GloFish® fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of fluorescent zebrafish that were originally developed several years ago. A non-fluorescing fish will signal that the water is safe.. This includes everything from general care and temperature preferences to growth rate an life d expectancy. begins by adding a fluorescence gene to the fish before it hatches from its egg. as well as cancer and gene therapy. Today's GloFish® fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of these original fish. whether it's to help protect the environment or come up with new disease-fighting drug therapies. maintains the color throughout its life. which has jurisdiction over biotech animals. working . please review the article entitled ´Zebrafish as Pollution Indicators. the gene onl needs to y be added to one embryo. Exactly how is the fluorescent protein gene added to the fish? Every line of GloFish® fluorescent fish (i. a portion of the proceeds from sales of all GloFish® fluorescent fish goes directly to the lab where these fish were created.

At the same time. including the State of Florida Transgenic Aquatic Species Task Force and the California Department of Fish & Game. these reviews have concluded that our fluorescent zebrafish are as safe for the environment as wild type zebrafish. Despite all these years of widespread distribution. and should never be intentionally released into the wild. please remember that GloFish® fluorescent fish are intended for use as aquarium fish only. found no evidence that our fluorescent zebrafish pose any more threat to the environment than wild-type zebrafish. What will happen if a GloFish® fluorescent zebrafish escapes into the waterways? Zebrafish are tropical fish and are unable to survive in non -tropical environments. are not intended for human consumption. Accordingly. please see the GloFish® Science section of our website. They have been sold to aquarium owners worldwide for more than fifty years. Have any other governmental agencies reviewed GloFish® fluorescent fish? In addition to the Federal review described above. . eating a fluorescent fish will not make a predator fluoresce. Just as eating a blue fish would not turn a predator blue. such as their native India. To review their specific coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Fish & Wildlife Service. GloFish should not be eaten. Their fluorescence is derived from a gene that is already found in nature and is completely safe for the environment. If you would like to read the FDA statement regarding our fish. Can humans eat GloFish®? GloFish® fluorescent zebrafish. as well as those of independent third party experts. In accordance with the findings of the FDA. eating a fluorescent zebrafish is the same as eating any other zebrafish. like all ornamental fish. our fish have been reviewed by various state agencies. please click here. zebrafish are only found in tropical environments. What if a GloFish® fluorescent zebrafish is eaten in the wild by another animal? For an animal in the wild.


The technology is often called "modern biotechnology" or "gene technology". Part of the reason for this rapid growth is the application of genetic technologies. it is genetic engineering. and genetic engineering. but primarily focuses on improved growth rate. The term transgenics is used when the technology specifically involves gene transfer from one species to another. the aquaculture industry will be influenced mostly by consumer demands. sterility. The gene product and the environment act together to produce the transgenic fish. INTRODUCTION Aquaculture is recognized as one of the fastest growing food producing sectors globally. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another. Approximately 70% of the crops that are genetically engineered are engineered to herbicide resistance and many other crops are engineered to produce pesticides. also between nonrelated species". chromosome-set manipulation. . and the production of pharmaceuticals. It is the purpose of this paper to present a brief status of the field of genetic modification in aquatic species and identify some of the important issues that will bear on their commercialization. Bartley FAO Fisheries Department. consumers are influenced more by popular media than by scientific arguments. other traits of interest are improved environmental tolerance. Genetic engineering in aquaculture does not involve the engineering of toxins or resistance to toxins. Although there is a range of genetic technologies including conventional animal breeding. However. Although there are similarities between the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. 60% of all processed foods in the US are genetically modified. The controversy is most intense in the plant agricultural sector where 52 million ha in 13 countries around the world are planted with GM crops. also known as the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or transgenic organisms that has generated the most controversy. Development of advanced genetic technologies such as GMOs will need to address both the rational and irrational concerns of the general public. there are no GM fish available to the consumer. part of the reason for this growth is genetic innovations and improvements. Status of Genetic Modification in Aquatic Species Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are defined by the European Union as "Organisms (and micro-organisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating or natural recombination". marker assisted selection. sometimes also "recombinant DNA technology" or "genetic engineering".Genetically modified organisms in aquaculture Devin M. genomics. hybridization. significant differences exist in the area of genetic engineering that necessitate careful and focused review of GMOs in aquaculture. At present. FIGURE 1 Diagrammatic view of a DNA construct for a "trans-gene". however attitudes in the fishery sector are being influenced by events in terrestrial agriculture. one technology that has sparked controversy in the areas of human and environmental safety is that of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Science-based risk assessment and the precautionary approach have been widely promoted as tools for the responsible use of GMOs. Rome. However. Italy ABSTRACT Aquaculture is recognized as one of the fastest growing food production sectors.

There are approximately 30 aquatic species that are being genetically modified in laboratories and test facilities. In the US. 2003). corn and canola. approximately 130 million acres (52 million ha) in 13 countries are planted with GM crops. the desired gene to be introduced into the GM fish. 2000) Desired trait Species Active genes Growth hormone. the gene product may affect other parts of the animal and produce unintended results. the switches may also activate or deactivate genes other that the desired trans-gene. a reporter or marker segment that allows the geneticist to detect the presence of the new gene. approximately 60% of all processed foods are genetically modified. tilapia more efficient) hybrids. Nile tilapia. The majority of the genetic modification. insulin-like growth factor Better growth Atlantic salmon. At present there are no genetically modified (GM) aquatic species available to the aquaculture industry. The remainder of the GM crops includes primarily plants genetically modified to express pesticides. antifreeze protein gene. mud loach. bigger.Although the methodology is complex. about 70% of the crops. Indian major carps. abalone. thus allowing farmers to control weeds without killing important crops. at about 15% per year. However. also producing unintended impacts. chinook salmon. 3. In the US.4 million ha) were planted with GM crops in 1996 rising to over 88 million acres (35 million ha) in 2001. Beardmore and Porter. These mostly include products from soya beans. Pacific oyster . in the crop sector the technology is well established and is currently the subject of substantial debate. coho salmon. where the technology is generally accepted. Gene technology is one of the fastest growing technologies. and a terminator segment that switches the gene off (Figure 1. and the location of where the construct goes into the animals DNA is also unknown and may be inconsistent. thus allowing farmers to use fewer pesticides. cutthroat trout. For instance. Some of these are being studied for commercial application. common carp. (faster. the basic idea is that a new piece of DNA called a genetic "construct" is made that is composed of a promoter. goldfish. or switch. channel catfish. rainbow trout.5 million acres (1. involves herbicide resistance. whereas others form the basis of basic research on gene and cell functioning. TABLE 1 Experimental and developmental work on transgenic technology (GMOs) in aquatic species (after Bartley. Real gene functioning is much more complex that in Figure 1. Around the world.

Resistant and resilient communities will be less impacted by GM fish than those unstable communities. Both have been modified for improved growth. Ecosystems have different degrees of resistance to and resilience from adverse impacts. strawberries. ISSUES The main issues involving GM fish are whether they present a danger to the environment or human health. 2002).environments will be different as to their ability to withstand or recover from impacts of GM fish and environments will have different values to society. Further concern was raised because of the potential for GM aquatic species to escape from fish farming facilities and to spread easily and undetected through rivers and other water-bodies.Increased tolerance cold Atlantic salmon. genetically modified . pleurocidin (flounder) gene Interference RNA Beta carotene gene Insulin gene producing Oysters. medaka Marine bacteria Production of Tilapia human insulin Production calcitronin of Rabbit Salmon calcitronin producing gene Table 1 lists some aquatic species being developed for genetic modification. Environmental risk The US National Research Council (USNRC) cited environmental issues as the greatest sciencebased concern for GM fish (USNRC. competition. our ability to assess risks is not very good. grass carp tolerance to low oxygen levels Disease resistance Sterility Pigment synthesis Salmon spp.what change in the phenotype is expected and what are the potential unknown effects. striped bass. Many of the environmental risks of GM fish are similar to those posed by non-GM fish. If these fish escaped into nature. The ability of a GM animal to impact an environment will also depend on the specific environment. Many GM fish are modified to grow faster or have improved environmental tolerances (Table 1).. and if they are ethical. or if the gene or genes that confer these qualities on farmed fish were . and 3) the receiving environment . The USNRC (2002) cited three main factors in environmental risk assessment: 1) the effect of the trans-gene on the GM animal . habitat modification and interbreeding with native species. potatoes Anti-freeze gene protein Increased Common carp. Any organism entering the environment can impact native biodiversity through predation/herbivory. how the GM fish will impact the environment and how the trans-gene may be passed to other populations in the environment. 2) the specific animal. Are these risks greater with GM fish? Due to a lack of adequate information from long-term and large-scale field studies. Trade issues associated with GMOs are extremely complex and are not addressed here. There are two species of fish that are close to commercialization and awaiting government approval: 1) a transgenic Atlantic salmon in the United States and 2) a transgenic tilapia in Cuba.some animals have a tendency to become feral or invasive easily and have a history of causing environmental damage. marine shrimp Growth hormone Lysosome gene. Their reasoning was that there are numerous uncertainties associated with how the genetic modification will affect the fish.

a gene from a Brazil nut was placed in soybean and people who were allergic to Brazil nuts reacted to the soybean. the DNA construct used to change the fish should be considered. experimentation and risk assessment are required at present. proteins. ecosystems could be adversely impacted through the increased activity (predation. it may become a host for new pathogens. in general. This is easily accomplished in many aquatic species through adding an extra set of chromosomes (the creation of triploid organisms). if a GMO is more disease-resistant. etc. many of the nutritional. some of which may be transmissible or pathogenic to humans. they are present and should be considered.e. but different from a system of values which is very much dependent on specific cultures. One area of potential concern is the future development of disease resistance. the most common gene construct involves a growth hormone gene (Table 1) and not the herbicides or pesticides used in plants. There have been instances in crops where the foreign gene has caused allergic reactions. 2002). Although this technique does not produce 100% sterile animals. but minor. here I use a framework used in part by the FAO Sub-Committee on Ethics in Food and Agriculture. Although the risks to human health are slight. This is in part due to news about crops. In evaluating food safety of GM fish. the human health concerns associated with GMOs in the human food chain[5] receive a great deal of attention worldwide. herbicides and general antibiotics. Ethics and Animal Welfare Is it ethical to modify genetically animals? In order to answer this question we must define what we mean by "ethics" and establish an "ethical framework" with which to evaluate the issue. toxicological and allergenicity concerns would be alleviated by such labelling. Many ethical frameworks exist or can be established. In the fisheries sector. Many of the GMOs being tested for use in aquaculture only produce more of their own growth hormone. that do not have a history of safe use in the human diet. GM fish could express genes or gene products. for example. Risk managers are calling for a case-by-case evaluation of GM fish that first identifies the potential differences between the GM product and the non-GM product and then to identify the nutritional and toxicological implications of the differences. DNA fragments may not be completely digested by the human gut and may survive in the gastro-intestinal tract. Crops have been genetically modified to contain pesticides. Labelling of GM products is currently a debated issue. some researchers feel that because GM fish are domesticated and designed for life in fish farms. In this case. horizontal gene transfer or recombination (DNA combining with other DNA) could occur and lead to the generation of new viruses. In order to reduce the chance of escaped GM fish breeding in the wild. especially if the gene or promoter comes from viral source. These fragments could be absorbed by gut micro-flora and somatic cells in the gut. range extension. Health risk Although most fishery regulatory agencies feel that environmental issues are of primary importance (USNRC. they will not be very competitive in nature if they escape (Dunham. and some males still exhibit secondary sexual characteristics. it greatly reduces the probability of fish breeding. A theoretical possibility is that. i. Thus.passed to native species through interbreeding. However. Thus. aquaculturists are examining techniques to make the fish sterile. there is less scope in animals for the trans-gene to activate inadvertently naturally occurring toxins. However.) of the GM fish. 1999). and there are fears that these toxins could affect people. There is still considerable disagreement among scientists on the issue of fitness of GM fish in the wild. Existing ecological balances could be offset by the introduction of a highly competitive or highly predacious GM fish. competition. caseby-case examination. from the human health perspective the risks are present. do not produce natural toxins or anti-nutritional compounds as many plants do. Thus. A system of ethics is related to. the uninformed consumer feels that genetically modified fish also may contain toxins. An additional difference between plants and animals is that animals. Components of this framework state that ethics included: .

control of GM seeds by multi-national businesses prevents farmers from saving seeds. forcing dependence on the multi-nationals and thereby reducing farmers' autonomy.g. lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. Justice and equity . the impacts of a development plan should be reversible within the time frame of 2-3 decades. it should be apparent that much of the controversy concerning the use of GMOs in fishery and aquaculture is due to a lack of information and scientific uncertainty. There is a feeling that the US Food and Drug Administration will soon approve a transgenic salmon for sale in the USA. 1994) and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO.and fair treatment. This could also include the right to information to make informed choices. is difficult or impossible. However. or when adverse impacts are apparent.e. These elements state that: y reference points should be established to help determine desirable situations and undesirable impacts.the rights of individuals or groups for self-determination. The development of agriculture has been proposed as one of the most significant aspects of civilization in that it provided the time and resources that allowed humans to feed more people and left them free to develop fine arts and science. there is also a feeling that the FDA will not allow the salmon to be grown in the USA! This could be judged an unethical decision because it does not treat the US and foreign environments in an equitable manner. 1995b). The precautionary approach has often been taken to mean that the burden of proof rests with those proposing use or development of a resource. animals and the habitats they live in for millennia. especially in marine areas or in extensive river systems. From the crop sector.y y y Beneficence . such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD. or have adverse environmental impacts could be judged unethical. The precautionary approach advocated by FAO and CBD states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage. Genetic modification allows humankind to modify nature faster and to a greater extent than before. This means that priority is given to conservation of stocks over harvesting the stocks when there is uncertainty. Thus monitoring of the fishery. Autonomy . priority should be given to maintaining the productive capacity of the resource where there is uncertainty as to the impact of development. such as lowest allowable population size of a fishery resource. aquaculture activities and the environment is necessary to know when reference points are reached. i. LACK OF INFORMATION From the above. the reversibility of the impact. i.e. Major international agreements. the aquaculture facility must prove that an introduced or newly y y y y . without their consent and without compensating them for the use of the resource. such as optimum sustainable yield. This has been an issue with regards to patenting of genetic resources that have been used by traditional people. This can be extended to aquaculture where the productivity of aquatic resources in nature should be maintained when there is uncertainty as to the risk of GMOs adversely affecting them.towards people. advocate a precautionary approach in such a situation. and target reference points. Failure of labelling of gm foods also denies access to information that consumers need to exercise their autonomy in choosing GM or non-GM foods. Ethical questions with regard to aquatic GMOs often focus on whether humans have the right to modify natural creations.The use of GMOs or the development of technology that allows such use should be governed by ethical notions of justice . pre-agreed actions or contingency plans should be implemented in a timely manner when limit reference points are approached. 1995a). humans have been modifying plants. Are we over-playing our autonomy? However. harm or endanger animals. animals and the environment. The Government of Sweden and FAO convened a technical workshop to define elements of the precautionary approach as they apply to fisheries (FAO. limit reference points. The use of GMOs that endanger people. e. the burden of proof should be placed according to the above requirements and standard of proof should commensurate with risks and benefits. The eradication of naturalized populations of GM fish.

Some question the need for GMOs and recommend traditional methods to achieve the same results. This seems to be the case with the plant sector as cost savings in GM food production were not passed on to the consumer. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Chatelaine. Code of conduct for responsible fisheries. Text and Annexes. 41p. The crop biotech sector has strongly resisted labelling of GM products. No. USA. & Porter. the likelihood and severity of these hazards is still unknown. Although scientists have established hazards to the environment and human health posed by aquatic GMOs. In order for GM foods from aquaculture to be accepted. over the last decades food production has outpaced human population growth. World Aquaculture Soc. D. FAO Fisheries Circular.(http://www. consumers will base their opinion of GM fish on popular media and special interests groups. FAO. Convention on Biological Diversity.A.M. 2000. It is difficult to determine when GM fish will be commercialized and available to the consumer.S. Part 1: Guidelines on the precautionary approach to capture fisheries and species . policy makers and society in general. GMOs offer the aquaculture industry additional opportunities to produce food and economic benefits. 1994. Rome. Dunham. National Academy Press. It will be necessary to produce science-based assessments of the risks and benefits of GM technology to consumers. US National Research Council.domesticated species will have an acceptable impact. is it more ethical? In the absence of clear and accurate messages on the benefits. CBD. but it must be developed ethically with regard for the environment and human health. R. but not in Europe. increased environmental tolerance could allow farming in marginal areas and provide additional employment opportunity. In general consumers do not know how their food is produced. 2003. Genetically modified organisms and aquaculture. According to the United Nations. Beardmore. 989. causing further distrust of the technology by consumers. Utilization of transgenic fish in developing countries: potential benefits and risks. J. 1995a. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. the industry must show how this technology benefits the consumer . Part of the reason for consumer resistance is that there is a perception that GM technology benefits only the multi-national agriculture businesses and not the consumer. Interim Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is the "guilty until proven otherwise" approach.nap. Italy. 2002. pp. 30:1-11. 71-77. FAO. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 350/1. J. Italy. Animal Biotechnology: science based concerns. REFERENCES Bartley. it cheaper. J. 1999. Genetically modified organisms in fisheries. at present in some areas there is strong consumer resistance to the use of GMOs.A. Switzerland. yet approximately 800 million people are food insecure. Rome. CONCLUSION GM technology could have much to offer the aquaculture industry. In: The State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture. Rome. FAO. 34p. Rome. 38p. is it more nutritious. GM plants and plant products are accepted in the USA and other areas. However. FAO. Improved growth-rate could mean less inputs and less waste from aquaculture. Precautionary Approach to Fisheries. 1995b. is it more environmentally friendly. DC. Washington. improved efficiency may allow fish farmers to move farms away from fragile coastal areas to areas less environmentally sensitive.

In our laboratory we have assayed 18 potential environmental chemical contaminants. This transgenic sentinel can monitor these vulnerable systems by detecting biologically significant doses of innumerable different chemicals. Pollution responsive reporter genes are microinjected into one-celled fish embryos shortly after fertilization. The final product of this project will be a sentinel for biological monitoring of Photomicrograph of injecting a zebrafish embryo Making of a transgenic fish. and the degree to which it mimics native gene expression is determined. . The functional gene is incorporated into the genome of a small portion of the injected fish. that causes chemical contamination of the system. Intentional contamination could result from direct introduction of a toxic chemical into a drinking water system. or intentional destruction of a structure. We will generate lines of transgenic zebrafish biomonitors by introducing an easily assayable reporter gene under the control of pollution responsive DNA elements. Carvan Project Summary: Municipal drinking water systems are potential targets for terrorists and are vulnerable to both intentional and accidental contamination. including biological warfare agents such as parathion and paraoxon (chemical relatives of sarin). Stacy Kaltenbach and Michael J.Transgenic Zebrafish: Sentinels for Water Security Barbara Wimpee. The distribution systems for drinking water are the most vulnerable and deliver their product directly to numerous homes and workplaces.

and Koichi Kawakami Proc. We then mobilized a Tol2 insertion in the nup214 gene. activati ng the response elements (RE) that induce the production of luciferase. fficient transposition of the Tol2 transposable element from a single copy donor in zebrafish Akihiro Urasaki. Kazuhide Asakawa. Double transgenic fish containing the transposase gene and a single copy Tol2 insertion were heat-shocked in a hot bath. environmental pollution capable of recognizing toxic chemicals within a complex environmental mixture. . we constructed transgenic zebrafish carrying single copy integrations of Tol2 on the genome and injected transposase mRNA into one -cell stage embryos. USA (2008) doi: 10.000-fold in the tissues of the fish.1073/pnas. The contaminants bioconcentrate 1.0810380105 We described the in vivo Tol2 transposition system in zebrafish. This assay does not require killing the fish and allows for repeated analysis of the same site with the same fish. The Tol2 insertions were mobilized efficiently in the germ lineage. Second. we constructed transgenic fish carrying the transposase cDNA downstream of the hsp70 promoter. Natl. Transgenic zebrafish with pollution responsive DNA elements are placed in a body of 100. and successfully created revertants. We found that the majority (83%) of the new integration sites were mapped on chromosomes other than the donor chromosome. Thus.Representation of our transgenic fish sentinel for biological monitoring. Sci. Transposition was induced efficiently in the male germ cells.000. using an easily assayable reporter gene in live fish. which caused a recessive lethal mutant phenotype. our in vivo transposition system is useful to create genomewide insertions and facilitates functional genomics and transposon biology in vertebrate. Acad. First.

HG6D double transgenic fish (A.nig. Fish with new enhancer trap patterns ( Source: E) and new insertions (F) were created. B) were heat-shocked and mated (C).Fuji70.html .

Simulated escapes . researchers have succeeded in producing fish that grow considerably faster or are more resistant to diseases. tra nsgenic fish can also entail risks and undesirable effects on the natural environment. By furnishing fish with genes from other organisms.Risks Involved With Transgenic Fish ScienceDaily (Sep. But what happens in the natural environment if transgenic fish escape? Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have studied transgenic fish on behalf of the EU and are urging caution: See Also: Plants & Animals y y Fish Marine Biology Earth & Climate y y Natural Disasters Sustainability Science & Society y y Resource Shortage World Development Reference y y y y Transgenic plants Fish migration Genetically modified organism Trout "Until further notice transgenic fish should be bred in closed systems on land. More resistant to toxins For example. 1. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have therefore been commissioned by the EU to study the environmental effects of GMO (genetically mo dified organisms) within fish farming. transgenic fish can be more resistant to environmental toxins. 2009) ² Fast growing transgenic fish can revolutionise commercial fish farming and relieve the pressure on overexploited fish stocks. which facilitates breeding in colder conditions. The results of the studies show that the genetically modified fish should be treated with great care. Sweden." says Fredrik Sundström at the Department of Zoology. Fish can also be modified to cope better with cold. University of Gothenburg. There are major benefits for commercial fish farming as transgenic fish are expected to deliver higher production and better yields. so -called transgenes. However. which could entail the accumulation of toxins that ultimately end up in consumers. There are also misgivings that the higher level of growth hormone in the fish can affect people.

PhD at the Department of Zoology. shows that transgenic fish have a considerably greater effect on the natural environment than hatchery-reared non-transgenic fish when they escape. At least fertile fish should be kept in a closed system. but several applications for such operations are under consideration by authorities in both the USA and the EU Source: http://www. Sundström's conclusion is that international consensus is required before commercial farming can be permitted. and that a precautionary principle must be applied. However. conductin g studies in a laboratory environment that imitates nature is "One option is to farm the transgenic fish on land. Natural breeds are under threat If transgenic fish become established in natural stocks they would be able to outcompete the natural breeds. genetically modified fish survive better when there is a shortage of food. The study. which makes it difficult to predict how escaped transgenic fish affect the natural environment. which simulated escapes in a laboratory environment. has studied transgenic salmon and rainbow trout to ascertain what ecological risks they might constitute for the natural environment. For example. "It is probably due to the fact that genetically mod ified fish have a greater ability to compete and are better at converting food." says Sundström." says Sundström. As of yet no country has permitted commercial farming of transgenic fish. which would make escape impossible.sciencedaily. and benefit more than non transgenic fish from increasing water temperatures.Sundström.htm .

some scientists are far more doubtful. cultivation. including humans. Despite industry assurances that transgenic fish would be unable to naturally reproduce or significantly threaten the environment. While some of these alterations may provide some benefits. The sample bill included in this package addresses these concerns by banning the importation. . transportation. we are beginning to see increased commercial application of this technology. Genes inserted to promote disease resistance may allow transgenic fish to absorb higher levels of toxic substances. spawning.(2) Photo courtesy of Davidson College Currently. sale. The issues surrounding transgenic fish are coming to the forefront as aquaculture companies petition the Food and Drug Administration for approval to sell transgenic fish to the public.(1) In turn. incubation. importation and consumption of transgenic fish. including heavy metals. Transgenic species may behave much like invasive species when interacting with the natural environment. the potential effects on human health and the environmental risks that transgenic fish pose to native ecosystems remain unstudied and unknown. Some of the same genes inserted to provide benefit for transgenic fish may also contribute to higher risk for other species. possession. They may compete with native species for resources and pose a threat to the genetic diversity of native populations. or release of aquatic transgenic animals except under a permit. consumers of these fish may be ingesting higher amounts of substances such as mercury and selenium. and for ornamental reasons. for medical and industrial research. especially when genetic modifications such as a rapid growth rate offer advantages over slower-developing native species.Home > Policy Issues > Transgenic Fish > Introduction INTRODUCTION As the field of genetic engineering advances. Aquatic animals are being engineered to increase aquaculture production. there are no federal laws regulating the production. Transgenic fish that have genes from species such as peanuts or shellfish that are common causes of allergic reactions in humans may prompt allergic reactions in an unsuspecting consumer.

Rose Marie. 9 February 2005 < talking points. We may have other useful materials on this subject. Eric M. at (608) 252-9800. If you¶ve used this site and found it helpful or. Also see SERC¶s package on Genetically Engineered Food. 9 February 2005 <http://www. Sources: (1) Hallerman. press clips. May 2003. which are not posted on our web site. Feel free to use the sample bill text included here in your please let us know. Health Risks and Environmental Issues: Frankenfish Await FDA Approval. This package was last updated on February 11. Please feel free to contact us at info@serconline.html .vt.This web site offers the tools necessary for you to protect your state¶s waterways and coasts from transgenic fish. Sorce: http://www. Genetically Modified Fish and Shellfish: Food for Thought. a fact or call our office in Madison. Virginia Issues and Answers Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.serconline. including a legislative summary. Wisconsin.1 (Winter 2002). please notify us. If you do.via. 2005. if you have suggestions about how it could be made more helpful.pdf>.htm>. and other background information. Virginia Tech Publications & Outreach Communications. links. (2) Williams.townsendletter.

In spite of these problems. Salmon and trout are cash crops while the others primarily provide sources of protein. FDA announced: "Because tropical aquarium fish are not used for food purposes." The FDA position that transgenic glofish are substantially equivalent to unmodified fish is hypothetical and no effort has been made to test the transgenic fish in contained. Development of transgenic fish has focused on a few species including salmon. To ensure that transgenic fish do not overpower or seriously pollute the gene pool. the transgenic fish are being promoted as the first marketable transgenic animals for human consumption. not so much by the transgenic growth hormone as by the antifreeze gene promoter that . The glofish is set to go on sale January 5. or the pigment fluorescence may signal toxic defence as in the stinging sea anemone from which the glofish transgene was prepared and in that way di scourage predators. trout. Previously. a popular laboratory animal. carp. Muir and Howard defined conditions under which transgenic fish can cause rapid extinction to wild fish stock. and is being promoted for sale as a household aquarium pet. USDA or EPA has been willing to take the lead in regulating the glofish (even though USDA does deal with pet animals). they pose no threat to the food supply. More effort seems to have been spent on promoting the existing defective transgenic fish than on improving them so that they can be safely released for commercial production. which is likely to become a major pest of warm water areas. In the absence of a clear risk to the public health. which can establish transgenic populations. The glofish caused a stir in the United States because regulation of such transgenic pets is murky and none of the major regulatory agencies: FDA. The salmon nearest to commercial release is the Atlantic salmon engineered with a pacific salmon growth hormone driven by the arctic antifreeze promoter gene. both promoters and regulators stress the safety of "sterile" transgenic fish released to bodies of water. FDA was presumptuous in washing its hands of the regulation of the transgenic zebra fish. The rapid growth of that transgenic salmon is achieved. Other transgenic fish to follow in droves The release of glofish may signal relaxation of the regulation of transgenic fish now being promoted for commercial release. the sterile triploids were "leaky" and tend to produce a few fertile progeny. the FDA finds no reason to regulate these par ticular fish. but wild-like environments. was genetically modified to produce a fluorescent red pigment. thus posing extreme risk. tilapia and a few others. the "glofi sh". 2004 without regulatory approval. As ISIS reported. "sterile" fish are produced using synthetic triploid strains of fish produced from treatment of eggspressure or temperature shock and with sex hormones.The tiny zebra fish that lives in aquariums. but this has been ignored in the rush to commercialization. Fish pigmentation with "poster" colors is an aphrodisiac to wild fish and may even provide protection from predators in certain light conditions. There is no evidence that these genetically engineered zebra danio fish pose any more threat to the environment than their unmodified counterparts which have long been widely sold in the United States.

and pose a paradox for regulators. Transgenic tilapia. Such transgenic carp are recommended for production in earthen ponds. second only to carp as warm water food fish. Science in Society 19). Currently. technically speaking. Trout growth hormone was used to produce transgenic carp with improved dressing properties. Tilapia fish. Tilapia genetically modified with human insulin grew faster than non-transgenic siblings. and exceeding the production of Atlantic salmon (whose market value is twice that of tilapia). "transgenic". native to Africa. This is particularly important in view of the leukemia cases found among the handful of successes in human gene therapy. These problems will probably be amplified in the fast growing transgenic stocks. were three times larger than their non transgenic siblings. A number of studies indicate that salmon produced in sea pens escape and breed with native species. The commercial release of transgenic salmon. But it has been found that the parental gonads of such animals could be modified using replication defective pantropic retroviral vectors. These giant fish are not. Some commercially desirable fish and crustaceans have been difficult to genetically engineer because embryonic tissue is difficult to manipulate. modified with pig growth -hormone. Silk moth genes were introduced into Medaka fish to create resistance to bacterial pathogens. pond culture is suitable for carp and tilapia because the fish are vegetarians. Atlantic salmon (as typical cold water carnivores) cannot thrive on a diet of rapeseed oils but the fish can achieve maturity if . Contained cultures of transgenic fish The current generation of transgenic fish has not passed the t est of complete sterility if released or escaped to the environment. Pantropic vectors can transform an array of species they are modified forms of the Moloney mouse leukemia virus used extensively in gene therapy. even in somewhat contained fish farms. as they contain no foreign genes even though the inserted construct is artificial. and could also serve as a source of islet cells for transplantation to human subjects. Tilapia has been extensively genetically modified and promoted as a transgenic fish exclusive for isolated or contained production. Fish production in inland earthen ponds may prove acceptable for contained transgenic fish culture.functions in the cool water desirable for salmon flavor. are cultured world wide as "poor man¶s food". Animals produced usin g modified mammalian leukemia viruses will require extensive testing and long-term evaluation prior to release for human consumption. carnivorous salmon and trout depend on a diet of fish and fishmeal but the worldwide stock of feed fish has diminished and suitable vegetable meat substitutes must be found. Such vectors have proven useful in modification of a range of edible marine animals including mollusks. w hich were done with a retroviral vector (see "Gene therapy risks exposed". but more difficult with salmon and trout. introducing new disease and spreading pollution from the culture pens. But such facilities should be provided with fail-safe destruction of the pond animals in the event of flooding and adequate protection from theft. is likely to lead to problems similar to those experienced in the Atlantic salmon farms of the northwest Pacific. Pond commercial culture is effective for carp and tilapia. Giant mud loach was produced by linking the mud loach growth hormone with its actin promoter.

They must protect coastal ecosystems.finished with fish oils at least 20 weeks near the end of their maturity cycle.i-sis. and encourage farming of low-trophic-level fish ² those low on the food chain. Scientists Julio E. Without such constructive thinking. Gomez of Panama commented in Nature: "However. GM oil rape seed with enhanced production of long chain fatty acids are proposed to serve as feed for pond cultured fish. Pérez and Mauro Nirchio of Venezuala along with Juan A. but premature releases of transgenic fish stocks will do more harm than good. And glyphos ate-tolerant GM canola meal has been pronounced substantially equivalent to non-GM canola as feed for rainbow trout. the aquaculture industry poses a threat. the private sector and international funding not only to ocean fisheries but also to Bad decisions have plagued aquaculture. International agencies such as the World Bank. International technical funding agencies can exert great influence in changing practices". Aquaculture can help feed the world without diminishing ocean resources. substantial chan ges must be made by governments. if the aquaculture industry is going to reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks and provide food for the world¶s growing population. the International Development Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have created harm by ill advised projects that led to damage to native resources and pollution. resulting in pollution and extensive damage to native stocks. promote research and development of native species.php . http://www.

would be the first genetically-engineered animals to be made available as food. it reaches market size twice as fast as normal Atlantic salmon. The company. infertile by design (out of concern they might interbreed with other species)./ ." www.eatmedaily. which Food and Drug Administration officials have reportedly said is coming 'soon. FDA approval.' The AquAdvantage® Salmon.S." CEO Ronal Stotish says he has "tasted and enjoyed the modified fish. 9:00 am 0 Comments (closed) Genetically-engineered Atlantic salmon from a company called Aqua Bounty Technologies are on the brink of getting U. 2009. Aqua Bounty has spent more than a decade chasing U..Transgenic Salmon Close to FDA Approval [science!] May 21. is expecting a bit of backlash but stand behind their "product. The fish of the future have finally arrived! Canada's Globe and Mail reports: Tweaked with genetic material from chinook salmon and an eel-like creature called an ocean pout. the company says.. regulatory approval.


with some individuals. 1994).The introduction of transgenic technique has simultaneously put more emphasis on the need for production of sterile progeny in order to minimize the risk of transgenic stocks mixing in the wild populations. who claimed the transient expression n putative transgenics. 1994. (1982) first produced transgenic mouse by introducing metallothionein human growth hormone fusion gene (mThGH) into mouse egg. Hew et al.S. This experimental hatchery has been injecting growth hormone genes into fertilized salmonid eggs to produce fast growing salmon.. The technology offers an excellent opportunity for modifying or improving the genetic traits of commercially important fishers. resulting in dramatic increase in growth. The technical development has expanded the possibilities for producing either sterile fish or those whose reproductive activity can be specifically turned on or off using inducible promoters. The idea of producting transgenic animals became popular when Palmitter et al. transmission and expression. GE sal mon are being developed by a U.Genetically Engineered Salmon? While not on anyone's dinner table just yet. This would clearly be of considerable value allowing both optimal growth and controlled reproduction of the transgenic stocks while ensuring that any escaped fish would be unable to breed. An increased resistance of fish to cold temperatures has been another subject of research in fish transgenics for the past several years (Fletcher et al. company called Aqua Bounty Farms and are preferred for their ability to grow two to four times faster than other farmed salmon: "The goal of producing faster growing Atlantic Salmon for the commercial food market is well on its way at Aqua Bounty Farms... This triggered a series of attemptson gene transfer in economically important animals including fish. 1995). The technique has now seen successfully applied to a number of fish species. although they gave no molecular evidence for the integration of the transgene. reaching as much as 10 Ð 30 times the size of the controls (Devlin et al. (1985) in China. Aqua Bounty Farms webpage." Research at Aqua Bounty Farms. Prince Edward Island. mollusks and crustaceans for aquaculture. a research facility located in Fortune. The first transgenic fish was produced Zhu et al. genetically engineered salmon are just a pen stroke away.. Some studies have revealed enhancement of growth in adult salmon to an average of 3 Ð 5 times the size of non Ð transgenic controls. Dramatic growth enhancement has been shown using this technique especially in salmonids (Devlin et al. Canada. . especially during the first few months of growth. 2001). trout and Arctic char. Transgenesis Transgenesis or transgenics may be defined as the introduction of exogenous gene / DNA into host genome resulting in its stable maintenance.

characterization and regulation of these antifreeze proteins particularly of the inter flounder Pleuronectas americanus has been the subject of research for a considerable period in Canada. injection or oral administration of AFP to juvenile milkfish or tilapia led to an increase in resistance to a 26 to 13o C.Coldwater temperatures pose a considerable stressor to many fish and few are able to survive water temperatures much below 0-1oC. To realize the full potential of the transgenic fish technology in aquaculture. Interestingly.. Similarly.. The most promising tool for the future of transgenic fish production is undoubtedly in the development of the embryonic stem cell (ESC) technology. drop in temperature (Wu et al..The introduction of AFPs to gold fish also increased their cold tolerance. nutritional. this is often a major problem in aquaculture in cold climates. 1995). 1998). to temperatures at which all the control fish died (12 h at 0o C. several important scientific break Ð through are required. The isolation. there are numerous problems to be resolved before the successful commercialization of the transgenic brood stock for aquaculture. 1995). 2002). . Consequently. The development of stocks harbouring this gene would be a major benefit in commercial aquaculture in counties where winter temperatures often border the physiological limits of these species. There include (i) more efficient technologies for mass gene transfer (ii) targeted gene transfer technologies such as embryonic stem cell gene transfer (iii) suitable promoters to direct the expression of transgenes at optimal levels during the desired developmental stages (iv) identified genes of desireable traits for aquaculture and other applications (v) informations on the physiological.Although significant progress has been made in several laboratories around the world. immunological and environmental factors that maximize the performance of the transgenics of the transgenics and (vi) safety and environmental impacts of transgenic fish. There cells are undifferentiated and remain totipotent so they can be manipulated in vitro and subsequently reintroduce into early embryos where they can contribute to the germ line of the host. This would facilitate the genes to be stably introduced or deleted (Melamed et al. Wang et al. some marine teleosts have high levels (10 Ð 25 mg/ml) of serum antifreeze proteins (AFP) or glycoproteins (AFGP) which effectively reduce the freezing temperature by preventing ice-crystal growth.. the gene encoding the liver AFP from winter flounder was successfully introduced into the genome of Atlantic salmon where it became integrated into the germ line and then passed onto the off Ð spring F3 where it was expressed specifically in the liver (Hew et al.

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