Genome Editing

Genome Editing

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CAT is the first & only aquaculture technology organization

Positioned to deliver revolutionary genome-editing technology

Genome editing represents the next frontier in genetic improvement for aquatic species. It offers the opportunity to do more with less - preserve natural resources while simultaneously satisfying increasing consumer demand for seafood. This technology resolves problems in animal husbandry that cannot be addressed by conventional breeding methods. It results in the fast, effective, and precise change of the genome sequence that improves health, welfare and performance of farmed aquatic animals, reduces the pressure on wild species and the environment and delivers high-quality food to consumers.

Improvements to farmed animals

  • Animals that adapt to changing environments and have strong natural immunity
  • A diverse gene pool prevents genetic disorders
  • Sterile broodstock has enhanced performance and higher yields

Environmental Benefits

  • Sterile farm escapees prevent unintended impacts on wild populations
  • Combating health and welfare concerns with genome editing eliminates the need to use chemicals and antibiotics that negatively impact environment
  • Improved use of sustainable feed ingredients reduces feed waste

Consumer Benefits

  • Lower production costs make food more accessible to consumers
  • Genome editing allows producers to increase the quantity and quality of yield and deliver healthy and nutritious products

Genome Editing recreates changes what would happen in nature in a more precise and efficient manner.


Because we don’t want our GE animals to reproduce during production or in the wild…

Sterile populations of aquatic animals perform better in the grow-out phase. There are fewer losses due to early maturation, and nutrition is partitioned towards growth rather than sexual maturity. Sterile animals are incapable of interbreeding with wild fish, where occasionally they escape from the farm.

CAT adopted the 'Sterility first' approach as a requirement for adding any additional edits that influence other traits - to protect wild populations.

Disease Resistance

Because it’s wrong to let animals suffer from disease…

Major genes that control resistance to particular pathogens are being identified and editing of these target genes can prevent animals from suffering from a disease.


Because sometimes we only need males or females…

In farm animals, one sex often performs better than the other. Male tilapia and Atlantic salmon are faster growing and more efficient than females. Farmers prefer to raise the sex that gives them the best performance.


Because we want to do more with less...

Genome editing allows to improve growth, yield, efficiency and economic performance, as well as increase the sustainability of aquaculture.

We support innovation

CAT is the first and only aquaculture research organization positioned to deliver revolutionary genome editing technology to producers in the aquaculture industry.

Genome editing allows the improvement of traits that couldn’t be changed before. Our world-class team and facilities enable us to create custom genome-edited lines for any trait or species.

Why do we need genome editing?


Improving the health and welfare of farmed species.

Protecting Environment

Protecting wild populations and natural resources. 

Satisfying Demand

Satisfying growing consumer demand by doing more with less.

Enhancing sustainability

Enhancing the sustainability of production and increasing ROI.

Fair consumer price

Delivering wholesome, healthy food at a fair price to the consumer.

Incorporating Genome Editing into Breeding Programs

Aquaculture breeding program

Conventional breeding programs are based on identifying the best females and males to be bred together to produce the next generation of animals. In this case, genetic improvement is done over time - in several generations - and can be accelerated through the application of innovative genomic tools that provide high precision when selecting for the best candidates.

Genome editing in fish

CAT geneticists can identify target genes that have a major impact on the traits and use enzyme systems such as CRISPR, to alter the genetic sequence of the animal. Such changes deliver significant genetic improvement in just one generation – resulting in targeted improvement of key traits. CAT offers detection of gene variants by genotyping with subsequent GE integration into breeding programs.

We provide solutions tailored to you.


Genetic modification implies changes in a genetic sequence that would not occur in nature - including moving genes from one species to another.
Gene editing is a process of operating on the DNA sequence in the animal itself, accelerating genetic improvement that could have occurred through natural reproduction.

Genome editing facilitates the DNA changes in the animal genome that could take many generations to occur naturally. This technology helps expedite the development of traits that allow fish to adapt to a changing environment and show natural immunity to pathogens.

Sterility technology is a responsible choice we must make to protect the environment and reduce the commercial impact of farming on wild populations by preventing farmed escapees from interbreeding with wild fish or establishing feral populations.

The CAT IP portfolio includes patents which cover the use of genome editing to induce reproductive sterility and gender control in aquatic species. 

Every company that produces genetics for grow-out has the opportunity to develop a Genome Editing strategy for the broodstock.

Genome Editing will allow companies to adhere to responsible aquaculture practices and deliver exceptional quality and environmentally-friendly products to the consumer.

Our team of genetic experts will develop a customized plan including defined milestones for delivery from the research phase through commercialization.

Contact our team to learn about our process.

The timeline for incorporating genome editing depends on many factors, including:

  • the regulatory process governing production and consumption in your market
  • reproductive interval of your species
  • level of understanding of the genetic drivers of the trait(s) of interest

Contact our team to learn about our process.

CAT is leading the conversations with regulators in many geographic markets about the practical applications of genome editing technology in aquatic species.

We provide our clients with the latest information about the regulatory landscape and offer regulatory support to companies that want to incorporate genome editing technology into their breeding programs.

Some countries including Australia, Japan, and Brazil have chosen to not regulate animals produced using genome editing when no new DNA has been introduced since the animals are not considered to be different from those produced using conventional means.