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Selecting for a Better Virginia Oyster

Anu Frank-Lawale fertilizes oyster eggs in the lab at the VIMS ABC. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Anu Frank-Lawale fertilizes oyster eggs in the lab at the VIMS ABC. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

The VIMS Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC) conducts oyster breeding and research aimed at developing oyster breeds that will perform well in oyster farms throughout the state. Triploid oysters, which have three copies of each chromosome instead of the usual two, can be bred in the lab and have a number of characteristics that make them a good fit for aquaculture. In particular, triploid oysters grow faster than “wild” diploids and have high rates of survival and disease resistance. However, triploids are sterile, meaning that they cannot be bred directly to produce new and better triploids. Stan Allen and Anu Frank-Lawale are conducting a number of tests to see if they can improve the quality of triploid oysters for aquaculture by manipulating the characteristics of the diploid patents that are used to make triploids.

Project Details: Stan Allen and Anu Frank-Lawale (VIMS) Improvements in triploid C. virginica production: Phase I – characterizing the diploid parent.