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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322036

Research Project: Genetic Improvement Of Marine Fish and Shellfish

Location: National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

Title: Performance of selected eastern oyster lines across northeastern US estuaries

item Proestou, Dina
item CORBETT, RYAN - University Of Rhode Island
item Vinyard, Bryan
item PIESZ, JESSICA - University Of Rhode Island
item GUO, XIMING - Rutgers University
item RAWSON, PAUL - University Of Maine
item ALLEN, STANDISH - Virginia Institute Of Marine Science
item GOMEZ-CHIARRI, MARTA - University Of Rhode Island

Submitted to: Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2016
Publication Date: 6/8/2016
Citation: Proestou, D.A., Corbett, R., Vinyard, B.T., Piesz, J., Guo, X., Rawson, P., Allen, S.K., Gomez-Chiarri, M. 2016. Performance of selected eastern oyster lines across northeastern US estuaries. Aquaculture. 464, pp. 17-27.

Interpretive Summary: The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of six selected eastern oyster lines routinely used for aquaculture at five distinct locations along the eastern US coast. Each line was developed under unique selection pressures and environmental conditions differed greatly across grow-out locations, accurately reflecting the extent of variation in genetic material and growing conditions used by the eastern oyster aquaculture industry. Oyster mortality, growth (final total weight), and yield (grams/1000 seed) served as measures of performance. A large and statistically significant site x line interaction effect was detected for all performance measures, suggesting that line performance is not consistent across sites. In general, the selected lines perform best at their site of selection. At sites where no selection occurred, line performance was somewhat unpredictable. These findings have important implications for oyster breeding strategies and industry practices.

Technical Abstract: Eastern oyster production derived from aquaculture has expanded, but growth potential is constrained by losses to disease. Breeding programs supporting industry in the Northeast have targeted resistance to three diseases: MSX, Dermo, and ROD. Selected lines should possess some level of resistance and perform well in diverse growing environments. The performance of six lines was evaluated at five sites (ME to VA) to 1) identify differences in performance among lines at each site, and 2) identify lines that perform well across all sites. Performance measures included mortality, growth, and yield over a 15 month period. Growth trajectories were similar across lines within a site, but varied significantly with site (67% of variance explained). In contrast, mortality patterns varied greatly among lines within a site as well as among sites (site x line interaction explained 45% of the variance). Extensive mortality was observed for all lines at the ME site, coincident with high ROD prevalence. At the NJ and VA sites, high mortality was evident in three lines when Dermo and MSX prevalences were 100% and ~50% respectively. NEH, DEBY, and hANA lines were not affected, demonstrating that lines that have been selected over multiple generations perform better at their site of selection than imported lines. Despite large site x line interaction effects, NEH, DEBY, and hANA performance was above average across all sites. These findings have important implications for oyster breeding strategies and industry practices.