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Genetic improvement of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg) in Australia

Ward, R.D., English, L.J., McGoldrick, D.J., Maguire, G.B., Nell, J.A., Thompson, P.A.
Aquaculture research 2000 v.31 no.1 pp. 35-44
Crassostrea gigas, genetic improvement, strains, allozymes, genetic variation, alleles, genetic markers, chromosome mapping, quantitative traits, loci, microsatellite repeats, genetic polymorphism, heterozygosity, linkage (genetics), amplified fragment length polymorphism, Australia
The Pacific oyster industry in Australia is derived from importations from Japan in the late 1940s and early 1950s to Tasmania and is almost completely hatchery based. This makes it a good target for developing and deploying genetically improved strains. An allozyme survey comparing hatchery stocks with self-recruiting Tasmanian stocks and with two collections from Japan found abundant variation and no significant evidence of allele loss. The subsequent selection programme (initiated in the summer of 1996/97) had several strands. We wanted to take advantage of the increased power that marker-assisted selection could bring and, therefore, needed to develop a linkage map and isolate flanking markers around quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Several types of markers (allozymes, microsatellites and AFLPs) were used, and single-pair crosses were set up: QTLs have been detected. Conventional selection programmes, one based on mass selection and one on family selection, have been established. Triploid Pacific oysters produced via chemical means have been available for several years, but rates of triploidy achieved by such means are usually less than 100%. In 1999, we will assess whether our tetraploid 2-year-old broodstock can be crossed with diploids to give 100% triploid offspring.