Hatchery International

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Xelect helps harness genetic potential of tilapia in East Africa

August 19, 2020  By Hatchery International staff

Xelect Ltd. is helping modernize genetic selective breeding of tilapia in Kenya and Uganda.

The Scotland-based genetics company has just completed a genetic analysis project supported by Msingi East Africa, an industry development organization.

The project involved working with partner farms in the region, training them in extracting tissue samples to be analyzed at Xelect’s genetics laboratory in St. Andrews, Scotland. The tissue samples were used for DNA extraction and genetic analysis.

The data collected will help East African tilapia producers create long-term, sustainable breeding program plans. Operations director, Dr. Tom Ashton, said the project could be a major step in helping with regional food stability in the area.

“With so much inward investment in the industry, we’ve reached a tipping point,” said Xelect CEO Ian Johnson. “We believe the market will ultimately fracture into major producers, using the latest genetics best practice, and smaller local operations. Investors would be very unwise to commit significant resources to aquaculture operations if they don’t truly understand – and protect – the genetic capital of their broodstock.”

Xelect Ltd. is a provider of specialist genetics and breeding management services. Through the company’s new partnership program, Xelect Introducers has attracted six new partnerships in recent months.

The company is looking to expand its breeding program management team, as well as a new rapid response genetics service. A number of key hires in genetics and marketing is also planned for this year, according to a company statement.


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