Growth of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), blue catfish (I. furcatus), and their F1, F2, F3, and F1reciprocal backcross hybrids in earthen ponds

Brad J. Argue, Daryl L. Kuhlers, Zhanjiang Liu, Rex A. Dunham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The F1hybrid between a channel catfish female (Ictalurus punctatus) × a blue catfish (I. furcatus) male outperforms both parental species in most environments. However, reproductive isolating mechanisms between the species made it difficult to mass produce the F1hybrid for commercialization until recent improvements in hormone usage. This study was undertaken to mix the genomes of the 2 species in an attempt to obtain faster-growing catfish that would eventually be easier to reproduce. Despite the recent improvements, it would still be advantageous to have an animal that does not require hormone dosing for reproduction and does not require the growing of 2 separate species by breeders. Additionally, a F1backcross or a multigeneration backcross has the possibility of being an improvement compared to an F1hybrid. At low density, there was no difference in growth between channel catfish and channel-blue F1hybrids. At higher densities, the F1hybrid grew faster (666 g) than channel catfish (577 g), blue catfish × F1(520 g), F1× F1(508 g), F1× channel catfish (436 g), blue catfish (396 g), F1× blue catfish (379 g), channel catfish × F1(359 g), and F2× F2(359 g; P < 0.05). The channel-blue F1males were heavier than the F1females. Individual heterosis had a strong positive effect on growth, whereas individual epistatic recombination loss had a strong negative effect on growth. The channel-blue F1hybrid and blue catfish had low coefficients of variation, whereas the F2and F3hybrids had high coefficients of variation. This gives a high amount of variation for selection, which might be used to select the faster-growing catfish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4297-4305
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Backcrossing
  • Blue catfish
  • Channel catfish
  • Hybrid catfish
  • Interspecies hybridization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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