Project Details


Oyster farming is one of the most important aquaculture industries in the US. One of the most significant advances in oyster aquaculture is the development of triploid and tetraploid oysters. Triploids, because of their extra set of chromosomes, are sterile and possess several characteristics that are ideal for aquaculture. Triploid oysters grow fast and maintain high meat quality in summer. Sterility prevents interbreeding between cultured and wild populations making aquaculture more environmental friendly. Triploids are produced by crossing diploids and tetraploids, and the development of tetraploid oysters has led to rapid commercial production of triploids. Now triploid oysters produced from tetraploids have become an important part of oyster aquaculture in the US and around the world, accounting for 30 - 50% of aquaculture production. However, tetraploid genomes are unstable and performances of triploids are inconsistent. Some tetraploids can quickly degenerate into aneuploids, triploids and mosaics mostly in somatic tissue but may also in gonads producing aneuploid gametes. Aneuploidy, which negatively affects growth and survival, may be responsible for the inconsistent performance of triploid oysters. This study aims to improve tetraploid and triploid eastern oysters by investigating: 1) whether genome instability in tetraploids produces aneuploid gametes; 2) whether aneuploid gametes from tetraploids affect the performance of triploid progeny; and 3) whether genome stability of tetraploids is heritable and can be genetically improved. This project may identify superior tetraploids that produce best-performing triploids and contribute significantly to the sustainable development of oyster aquaculture in the US and beyond.

Effective start/end date9/1/158/31/18


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $309,151.00


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