Our History

1988

It started with GIFT

The GenoMar-strain originates from an internationally collaborative selective breeding program, Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), coordinated by Akvaforsk, Norway and established in Munoz, Philippines. The GIFT strain, eventually under the ownership of the GIFT Foundation was made from eight different populations of Nile tilapia collected from Africa and Asia.

The GIFT- program was funded by the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations, and the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM, now the World Fish Center). Scientifically breeding methods, a combination of between family and within-family selection with full pedigree information were used from the very beginning.

The goal was to use the potential of selective breeding to increase important traits like growth rates, maturation and fecundity, and hardiness adapted to different environmental farming conditions.

1988
1991

Third generation growth evaluation

The third generation selected GIFT-strain showed in an evaluation study in Bangladesh, China, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam an average 18 percent greater body weight at harvest in China, and up to 58 percent in Bangladesh towards local strains.

1991
1996

GenoMar was founded

Professor Øystein Lie and coworkers founded GenoMar with commercial focus on DNA marker based parentage assisted breeding and traceability. The company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway.

1996
1999

GenoMar acquired a copy of the ninth generation

Based on an agreement between GenoMar and the GIFT Foundation International, GenoMar acquired a copy of the ninth generation of the GIFT-strain and was given the commercial rights and the responsibility to continue the breeding program of the GIFT-strain copy. The strain was now named under the brand GenoMar Supreme Tilapia (GST).

After nine generations of selective breeding, a test showed that the growth of the GIFT- strain was more than twice as fast compared to a local commercial strain in China.

1999
2004

DNA information used in the breeding program

To produce the accurate family relationships, GenoMar initiated to use the DNA information (microsatellite markers) to identify the parents and family in the Nile tilapia breeding program.

2004
2015

Development of high-density genotyping tool

GenoMar and the Center for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE) signed a collaboration agreement for the development and application of a genotyping tool, a high-density SNP array for Nile tilapia. This tool opens to use genetic information to select for many favorable traits.

2015
2016

First commercial high-density genotyping tool used for streptococcosis resistance

GenoMar developed the first commercial tilapia genotyping tool, a high-density SNP array. We revealed more than 2 million places in the tilapia genome where fish differ from each other at a single nucleotide (single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP) and selected ~ 60 000 of those SNPs to construct the first SNP array.

Resistance against streptococcosis was implemented as a goal in the GenoMar breeding program. Since then, routinely experimental challenge tests against S. agalactiae have been performed and formed the basis for selection of families and individuals with better survival.

2016
2017

EW GROUP acquires GenoMar

EW GROUP acquires 100% of the shares of GenoMar Genetics from Norway Fresh. EW GROUP is a strategic holding company based in Germany. The activities of EW GROUP are comprised of the business areas of poultry/turkey and aqua species breeding, as well as animal health, nutrition and diagnostics. EW GROUP operates 165 subsidiaries in 45 countries worldwide, employing over 15,000 team members.

2017
2018

Genomic selection started

Genomic selection was included in the breeding program. Several thousand animals are genotyped every year and genetic markers  associated with favorable traits  are used for selecting the best broodstock.

Compared with family-based selection, genomic selection is more precise, and provides enhanced genetic gains and cost efficacy since vast number of phenotypic tests of relatives becomes redundant.

2018
2021

30 years of tilapia breeding

30 generations of tilapia selection was performed in the nucleus.

2021
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