Genetic resources of common carp at the Fish Culture Research Institute, Szarvas, Hungary.
The genetic resources of common carp maintained at the Fish Culture Research Institute in Szarvas, Hungary, are described. 18 Hungarian strains (landraces) and 13 strains from outside Hungary (primarily former Soviet Republics, Eastern Europe and Asia) are maintained in a living gene bank at the Institute. The genetic improvement of common carp in Hungary started in 1962 at the Fish Culture Research Institute. Traditional selection (family and mass selection), other types of genetic manipulations, such as inbreeding, gynogenesis and hormonal sex-reversion, and intra-specific hybridization have resulted in the production and testing of more than 150 combinations of common carp strains. Five main features were evaluated that determined the economical value of the resulting strains: survival, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, slaughter value and fat content of the meat. These research efforts produced 3 outstanding hybrids of common carp: the Sz215 mirror, the SzP31 and SzP34 scaly hybrids, which now represent 80% of the total carp production in Hungary. The Fish Culture Research Institute is a key part of a national breeding programme in Hungary that provides fish farms and fish seed production units with parental lines of hybrid common carp.