Assessing the growth rate of our Adriatic sturgeons 9.03.2021

After a period of acclimatization, our sturgeons are ready for the firsts measurements necessary to assess their fitness. Size and weight are two parameters often used to evaluate fitness, especially when it comes to fish. It is generally expected, all things being equal, that individuals with a better overall health condition will show a higher growth rate.
Moreover, we expect that the health of these individuals is affected by the load of deleterious mutations. Thanks to the sequencing of all the families’ parents it will be possible to analyse their genome to predict a great number of potentially deleterious mutations. Then these same mutations will be genotyped and quantified in the offspring to assess the correlation between mutation load and growth rate.
Therefore, we decided to follow their growth through a periodic measurement of length and weight. Despite being kept in the same conditions, the individuals already show a visible variability in size. It is necessary to be as fast as possible to avoid stressing the animals. For this reason, the measurement of length and weight are collected simultaneously through a picture that allows to capture the weight on the display and then, in a different moment, to make a precise measurement of the length through an opportune software. At the end of the day, with this method, it was possible to collect data for hundreds of animals in a few hours without harming any animals.

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