Course code AQB250

AQB250 Sustainable aquaculture – breeding and genetics

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Hans Magnus Gjøen
Teachers: Gareth Frank Difford, Jørgen Ødegård, Sigbjørn Lien, Peer Berg, Øivind Andersen
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2022-2023
Course contents:

The course has three modules:

1) Molecular genetic tools for aquaculture breeding

Modern breeding makes use of genetic information in different ways. In this module you will learn how genetic information can be extracted and analysed. Genes work together, are switched on and off in different phases of life and in different environments. This scientific area is constantly gaining new knowledge that gives us new insight into the complex interplay between genes and the environment.

2) Breeding program in aquaculture

Although humans have been farming for thousands of years, systematic breeding has only been done for the last fifty years. We are now domesticating new species in a way that has never been done before, and by using systematic work and modern molecular genetic tools, we can now do this in a more sustainable way. Biological differences between species require different solutions, and it is important to know both the challenges and the possibilities.

3) Breeding - the environment and society

Changing a species through selection can have major consequences, for biology, animal welfare and the environment, e.g. because of salmon lice or escaped farmed salmon. Can new technology, such as gene editing or artificial intelligence, help solve these challenges? The breeding work must take place within ethical, environmental, and social frameworks, which you should know to work in or for this industry.

Learning outcome:

Have broad knowledge of

  • Challenges and possible solutions for a more sustainable aquaculture industry
  • How and to what extent genes control various important traits in aquaculture species
  • Molecular genetic tools used today that can be used in the future
  • Important biological conditions for different species, environmental and economic assessments, and the use of genetic engineering methods in aquaculture
  • Traditional and modern methods in fish breeding, including how specific breeding programs for various important aquaculture species are structured
  • Use of key technologies and data in breeding programs to ensure genetic progress for important traits in aquaculture


  • Evaluate various tools and strategies that can be used in fish farming and be able to design simple programs yourself
  • Identify and reflect on important social and ethical issues related to the use of breeding and genetic engineering methods in aquaculture
  • Assess the value of different sources of information in breeding, i.e. phenotypes, different genetic information, relationships, etc.
  • Work independently and in groups to acquire new knowledge, and summarize the knowledge in written assignments and present these

General competence

  • Ability to find holistic solutions where different considerations are emphasized
  • Through semester assignments and presentations, students will acquire collaboration and dissemination skills
  • Students should be able to present and argue for their own views in academic discussions
Learning activities:
Lectures, group work, self-study, project assignment and presentation in plenary.
Teaching support:
Teacher will be available on e-mail and through individual and group supervision.
Lecture notes/slides and some additional papers. An updated reading list will be available on the course Canvas website.
BIO120, AQX120
Recommended prerequisites:
BIO100, HFA200
Mandatory activity:
Approved project assignments, including oral presentation. Attendance and active participation in the entire course and in the group work are prerequisites for getting the course approved.
Portfolio assessment: Assessment of a written report that must be submitted within the stated deadline. Mandatory presentation of the report. Oral group exam. Ratings A-F.
Nominal workload:
125 hours
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
The course have 4 credits overlaps with AQB270 and 2 credits with AQX250
Type of course:
Weekly lectures / group work (2 hours).
External examiner.
Examination details: Portfolio: Passed / Not Passed