Benchmark Holdings plc

07/11/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/11/2019 00:37

Genetics Breakthrough in Tilapia

RNS Number : 1528F
Benchmark Holdings PLC
11 July 2019

Benchmark Holdings plc

('Benchmark' or the 'Company')

Genetics breakthrough to increase resistance to Streptococcus iniae in tilapia

Addresses one of the biggest challenges in the world's second most farmed species

Benchmark, the aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business, is pleased to announce a significant discovery to increase genetic resistance to Streptococcus iniae infections in tiliapia, one of the biggest challenges in the aquaculture industry.

Benchmark's team of geneticists have identified a significant quantitative trait locus (QTL), a small section of DNA, which is linked to increased levels of resistance to Streptococcus iniae. The Company has made a patent application in respect of this discovery.

The identified QTL will be used for commercial production of tilapia fry marking the first time that a significant QTL for disease resistance is used in commercial breeding of tilapia.

Tilapia is the world's second most farmed fishwith 6.3 million tonnes of production in 2018 (estimated commercial value of £6.6 bn) and is growing at c. 5% CAGR (2017 - 2022) according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Following this discovery, Benchmark's tilapia broodstock are selected both for improved resistance to Streptococcus agalactiaeusing genomic selection, and to Streptococcus iniaeusing the identifiedQTL in marker-assisted selection.

Malcolm Pye, CEO Benchmark commented:

'This is a major step forward for the tilapia industry. It is the result of Benchmark's many years of investment and commitment to bringing state-of-the-art breeding technology to this important farmed species.

'We believe that this breakthrough will allow the industry to expand production of this cost effective, high-quality, protein source to meet global demand for protein. We have seen first hand how devastating Streptococcus is to the industry and with the introduction of this new technology we can drive improvements in sustainability and profitability for our customers.'

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Enquiries

Benchmark Holdings plc

Tel: 020 3915 1236

Malcolm Pye, CEO

Mark Plampin, CFO

Ivonne Cantu, Investor Relations

Numis (Broker and NOMAD)

Tel: 020 7260 1000

James Black, Freddie Barnfield, Freddie Naylor-Leyland

MHP Communications

Tel: 020 3128 8226

Katie Hunt / Reg Hoare / Alistair de Kare-Silver [email protected]

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About Benchmark
Benchmark's mission is to enable food producers to improve their sustainability and profitability.

We bring together biology and technology, to develop innovative products which improve yield, quality and animal health and welfare for our customers. We do this by improving the genetic make-up, health and nutrition of their stock - from broodstock and hatchery through to nursery and grow out.

Benchmark has a broad portfolio of products and solutions, including salmon eggs, live feed (artemia), sea lice treatments, training and data management tools. Find out more at www.benchmarkplc.com


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