Brazilian researchers of Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia and Embrapa Informatica Agropecuária developed VannaPlus, a genomic tool that will help whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) producers improve their genetic programs and identify shrimp families raised in grow-out ponds.
Based on low-density SNP markers, VannaPlus allows hatchery producers to manage broodstock reducing the risk of undesirable crossings and improving and increasing production. “In addition to providing solutions for the genetic management of broodstock and reducing inbreeding, the tool can assist breeding programs in the evaluation, selection and breeding processes and, thus, rationalize the acquisition and sale of germplasm between producers,” said one of the researchers, Patrícia Ianella. The use of VannaPlus will also allow farmers to identify genetically distant animals and recommend crossbreeding with a greater probability of success.
Alexandre Caetano, researcher at Embrapa, said that “individual identification of shrimp presents enormous challenges for the genetic management of broodstock because their young forms are millimetric and cannot be marked with conventional methods, in addition to the difficulties derived from the molting process. VannaPlus solves these issues with a low-cost and rapid solution.”
The tool is now available. Embrapa has the capacity to analyze 2,000 samples per week, a volume is expected to double soon.
VannaPlus was developed by the researchers Alexandre Caetano and Patrícia Ianella, with the participation of researcher Michel Yamagishi and the team at Embrapa's Multi-User Bioinformatics Laboratory (LMB). The laboratory has a high-performance computational infrastructure that has been applied in bioinformatics analysis for the development of AquaPlus Platform assets.