Location: National Programs
Project Number: 0500-00088-001-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Jan 6, 2010
End Date: Jan 5, 2015
The objectives of research are to improve shellfish survival and growth rates, determine the importance of genotype by environmental interactions for shellfish, classify and preserve natural genetic variation, understand and mitigate the impacts of shellfish on the environment.
The East Coast shellfish industry will benefit from the genetic improvement of shellfish populations. Genetic improvement is a key strategy for increasing efficient production in a sustainable manner. The rate of improvement, however, is hindered by a lack of data on some economically important traits, inadequate understanding of interrelationships among traits, and inefficient strategies to incorporate genomic data into breeding programs. Research is needed to describe genetic parameters for nutrient utilization, reproductive capacity, animal behavior, stress tolerance and resistance to disease, shell ratios, flesh composition, and product quality. There is a need to identify molecular pathways of the host that are involved with immune responses and of pathogens that are involved in transmission, virulence, and recognition by the host. Additionally, experiments on animals with divergent response to disease challenge can reveal the genetic sources of variation that correlate with immune status. This project addresses the following sections of the NP 106 Action Plan: • Component 1: Understanding, Improving, and Effectively Using Animal Genetic and Genomic Resources, Problem Statements 1B and 1C • Component 4: Improving Health and Well-being of Aquatic Animals, Problem Statement 4A