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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #388871

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of North American Atlantic Salmon and the Eastern Oyster for Aquaculture Production

Location: National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

Title: Comparing the performance of selectively-bred and wild eastern oyster stocks in Rhode Island

item PREZIOSI, BRIAN - University Of Rhode Island
item LAROSSA, JORDAN - Rhode Island Hospital
item Proestou, Dina
item HUDSON, ROB - Roger Williams University
item BEN-HORIN, TAL - North Carolina State University
item GOMEZ-CHIARRI, MARTA - University Of Rhode Island

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) aquaculture is rapidly expanding in the United States of America, but production can be constrained due to losses from diseases. When it comes to endemic illnesses, hatcheries and breeding programs have developed oyster lines through selective breeding with improved performance when exposed to disease-causing parasites, an efficient disease control strategy for a variety of diseases. To identify stocks for development of a selective breeding for improved performance in the Northeast region, two selectively-bred lines of C. virginica were grown alongside four wild stocks (Green Hill Pond and Narrow River, Rhode Island; Thames River Ram Island, Connecticut; Tisbury Great Pond, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts). Oyster growth and survival was monitored over a 5-month period after spawning and deployment at a Rhode Island farm. Growth of individual oysters was also tracked via pit tags with unique digital ID numbers. Disease presence will be assessed by qPCR. Results so far show that oysters from the 2 selectively-bred lines were more consistent in size and shape than oysters from the wild stocks. Performance of oysters from the six stocks deployed in summer 2021 will be followed through 2022. Moreover, we will evaluate performance of the same six stocks for two years after spawning in 2022 and deployment at two additional locations in Rhode Island. These trials will provide background information for the development of a regional breeding program in Southern New England.