Despite a long history of reliance on fish as an important source of food, oQ'Z particularly protein, the science of aquaculture is relatively young. Thus, our understanding of genetics, breeding, and reproduction in fish lags behind other agricultural sciences. Tremendous potential exists, however, to use modern ^ra.l technologies, including biotechnologies, to improve aquaculture. One advantage to working with fish is that, in most cases, each fertilization and subsequent ■goj development can easily be manipulated. It is possible, for instance, to manipulate the number of chromosome sets in fish eggs to get triploid and E<P£ tetraploid fish. This technique produces sterile progeny, which helps ensure 2j=ra maximum growth because no energy is "wasted" on reproduction. Scientists can also regulate the sex of fish through various treatments, an advantage because S^J female fish are preferred for commercial markets.
^ fc Microinjection of growth hormones is another technique that has been io-l proven effective in promoting fish growth, and genetic engineering of fish to augment their growth hormones is under way. Scientists are also studying ways to genetically engineer fish to be more tolerant of cold temperatures. If an "antifreeze" gene from winter flounder—a cold-tolerance gene present in all Antarctic fish—could be successfully transferred, more types of fish could live at colder temperatures, both for wild propagation and in aquaculture ponds. A §J=£ number of basic studies of fish molecular biology are under way to increase our cu_S2to understanding of how fish respond to their environment at the molecular level <= and to develop ways to use this knowledge to increase the efficiency of fish
Microorganisms Associated with Animals
Each year livestock and poultry diseases cause an estimated $14 billion in losses. Thus, one important use for biotechnology in animal agriculture will be in the diagnosis, prevention, and control of animal diseases. __1 <o Monoclonal antibodies in particular offer great potential for helping
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