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The International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture XII

21st-27th June 2015 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Genetically improved aquaculture species are now commercially available for an increasing number of species throughout the world. However, the full potential for improvement is far from being achieved. The combination of traditional programs with biotechnology tools, including genomics and genetic engineering, is essential to reach aquaculture production goals in the near future. The ISGA XII will represent a very valuable forum to exchange information to accelerate the application of new genetic technologies to aquaculture.

The Symposium -  isga2015

The International Association for Genetics in Aquaculture (IAGA) was constituted in the 1985 Symposium Genetics in Aquaculture II, in Davis, with the purpose of promoting communication and constructive service to its members concerning all aspects of genetics of aquatic species relevant to aquaculture; to provide a mechanism for holding a triennial meeting known as the International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture (ISGA); and to ensure publication of the proceedings of each symposium.

An increasing number of genetically improved aquaculture species are now commercially available throughout the world. Aquaculture activity has increased dramatically since the early 1980s, and it will become more important as demand for seafood products increases, world harvest by capture fisheries reaches a plateau or declines, and human population increases.

With this increasing level of demand for aquaculture foods, there is a need for more efficient production systems. Major improvements have been achieved through enhanced husbandry procedures, improved nutrition, enhanced disease diagnosis and therapies and the application of genetics to breeding programs. Although several aquaculture species have been greatly improved through the application of genetics, much greater progress can be accomplished. Genetic research and its application has a significant role in the development of aquaculture, and this role and impact will become more important as aquaculture develops further. Genetically improved fish developed through selection, intraspecific crossbreeding, interspecific hybridization, polyploidy, sex reversal (genetically monosex), and marker assisted selection, are now being commercially applied for various species throughout the world. As space for aquaculture becomes more limited, the necessity for more efficient production will further increase the importance of genetic improvement of aquaculture species. The combination of a variety of genetic improvement programs – traditional, biotechnological, genomic and genetic engineering – is likely to result in the best genotypes for aquaculture in the future.

Aquaculture genomics has made great strides in the past 20 years, and significant genomic tools are available to apply to genetic improvement programs. With the lowering costs of sequencing and novel assemblage algorithms, the genome and transcriptome resources have greatly increased in many aquaculture species, especially in fish, but also in mollusks and crustaceans. Starting from EST databases, several microarrays have been constructed to study gene expression profiles, and more recently, highly resolutive RNAseq data have been obtained in some aquaculture species. Large amount of genetic markers have been developed starting from genomic and transcriptomic databases that have been used to construct integrated genetic maps, and progress has been made for QTL mapping. Finally, the largely covered genomes and transcriptomes of several model fish species have been widely used for comparative mapping and gene mining to identify candidate genes.

Although, the effort applied to developing aquaculture genomic resources should be increased, the time is right to take advantage of the vast effort that has been invested in genomics and to integrate genomics information and derived strategies in breeding programs. Marker assisted selection has begun to be implemented effectively in some breeding programs related to resistance to pathologies, growth or for controlling sex ratios. Also, the assessment of the benefits of genomic selection for specific characters with low heritability and/or difficult to measure in the selected broods has begun in those species with the highest genomic resources.

Finally, attention should be paid to the potential risks of progress in aquaculture and its potential impact on wild populations. There is an increasing concern regarding on the impact of escapees from aquaculture facilities that not only can directly threaten natural populations and the fisheries of the cultured species, but may also produce severe unbalances in natural ecosystems with unpredictable consequences. An effort should be made to move towards the best sustainable aquaculture systems, and for this, genetics can provide tools both for avoiding potential impact as well as for monitoring escapees and introgression in wild populations.

The ISGA XII will provide a suitable forum to exchange information to accelerate genetic improvement through traditional genetics, biotechnology, applied genomics and through the integration of these areas work towards a better sustainable aquaculture.

Sessions will include

  • Quantitative Genetics, Selective Breeding.
  • Biotechnology (Polyploidy, Sex Reversal, Genetic Stem Cell Applications, Transgenics).
  • Genetic architecture of relevant traits for aquaculture.
  • Applied Genomics (Marker Assisted Selection and Genomic Selection).
  • Ethics, Food Safety and Environmental Risks.

Industry-science brokerage

Within the framework of ISGA 2015, and in parallel with the scientific program of the symposium, that is already available on the website, a set of activities aimed to promote the participation of industry is being organised - including an exhibition area and a brokerage activity - as well as a round table on technology transfer. 

These activities, whose schedules can be verfied in the attached leaflet, are open and free (regardless of registration for the main conference program), but advanced registration is required due to logistic requirements.

On Wednesday June 24th industry attendance is expected to be particularly high but both the exhibition area and the brokerage activities will be carried out throughout the whole week. 

With regard to the brokerage activity, and in order to facilitate the appointment of effective bilateral meetings that give rise to new opportunities for technological cooperation, organisations should send the organisers their interests through the forms available at the ISGA 2015 website

Once received, the ISGA organisers will contact subscribers to suggest potential contacts and offer support for scheduling and preparing a meeting agenda, if necessary. 

The organiser wish to provide maximum opportunities for the aquaculture industry at this event, that will concentrate in Santiago de Compostela the world-class experts in genetics for aquaculture for the entire week.


For more details, contact the conference organisers at




Avda/ Carvallo Calero s/n-27002 Lugo Galicia-Spain

Phone: +34 982 822428

Fax: +34 982 822428


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ISGA XII programme  Download (335,194 kb)
Programme of events of the ISGA XII International Symposium

Symposium and Industry-Science Brokerage Genetics in Aquaculture.

Information both on the International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture but also on the brokerage possibilities available at the meeting to promote industry-science cooperation and effective technology transfer.