Defining desired genetic gains for rainbow trout breeding objective using analytic hierarchy process

P. Sae-Lim, J. Komen, A. Kause, J.A.M. van Arendonk, A.J. Barfoot, K.E. Martin, A.J. Parsons

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Distributing animals from a single breeding program to a global market may not satisfy all producers, as they may differ in market objectives and farming environments. Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used to estimate preferences, which can be aggregated to consensus preference values using weighted goal programming (WGP). The aim of this study was to use an AHP-WGP based approach to derive desired genetic gains for rainbow trout breeding, and to study whether breeding trait preferences vary depending on commercial products and farming environments. Two questionnaires were sent out, Q-A and Q-B. Q-A was distributed to 178 farmers from 5 continents and used to collect information on commercial products and farming environments. In this questionnaire, farmers were asked to rank the 6 most important traits for genetic improvement from a list of 13 traits. Questionnaire B (Q-B) was sent to all farmers who responded to Q-A (53 in total). For Q-B, preferences of the 6 traits were obtained using pairwise comparison. Preference intensity was given in order to quantify (in % of a trait mean; G%) the degree to which one trait is preferred over the other. Individual preferences (Ind-P), social preferences (Soc-P), and consensus preferences (Con-P) were estimated using AHP and WGP. Desired gains were constructed by multiplying Con-P with G%. The analysis revealed that the 6 most important traits were thermal growth coefficient (TGC), survival (Surv), feed conversion ratio (FCR), condition factor (CF), fillet percentage (F%), and late maturation (LMat). Ranking of traits based on average Con-P values were Surv (0.271), FCR (0.246), TGC (0.246), LMat (0.090), F% (0.081), and CF (0.067). Corresponding desired genetic gains (in % of trait mean) were 1.63%, 1.87%, 1.67%, 1.29%, 0.06%, and 0.33%, respectively. The results from Con-P values show that trait preferences may vary for different types of commercial production or farming environments. This study demonstrated that combination of AHP and WGP can be used to derive desired gains for a breeding program, and to quantify differences due to variations market demand or production environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1766-1776
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • goal-programming approach
  • salmon salmo-salar
  • oncorhynchus-mykiss
  • atlantic salmon
  • environment interactions
  • sexual-maturity
  • body traits
  • fuzzy ahp
  • parameters
  • growth


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