Project Details


Oyster aquaculture is a major industry in the US and worldwide. The sustainable development of oyster aquaculture is increasingly dependent on technological advances. Currently there are a number of problems and challenges facing the oyster aquaculture industry, where genetic research and development can contribute greatly. First, eastern oyster populations along much of the Atlantic coast have been devastated by three diseases: Dermo (caused by Perkinsus marinus), MSX (Haplosporidium nelsoni) and ROD (caused by Roseovarius crassostreae). Each of these diseases can caused severe mortalities in naïve oysters. The development of disease resistant strains is critically important for the oyster aquaculture industry. Secondly, most oyster stocks in production have only limited history of domestication, and genetic improvements are needed to produce stocks with desirable characteristics for aquaculture. The eastern oyster grows slowly and it often takes 24 - 36 months to reach market size. Stocks with superior growth will greatly benefit oyster farmers.The advent of modern breeding technologies offers new promises to the aquaculture industry. Advances in genomics may identify new genes or markers that greatly empower genetic improvement of cultured stocks. The development of sterile and fast-growing triploids (with three sets of chromosomes) can also greatly benefit oyster aquaculture. The goal of this project is to improve animal health and increase oyster production through the development of superior stocks that are disease resistant, fast growing, sterile and of high meat quality, and sterile. Specifically, we propose to: 1) test and apply marker-assisted selection for disease resistance; and 2) study and improve genome stability of tetraploid stocks for the production of superior triploids that have become a popular stock for oyster farming.
Effective start/end date10/2/149/30/19


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))


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