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Phenotypic trait of Crassostrea hongkongensis♀× C. angulata♂ hybrids in southern China

Zhang, Yuehuan, Zhang, Yang, Jun, Li, Wang, Zhaoping, Yan, Xiwu, Yu, Ziniu
Aquaculture research 2016 v.47 no.11 pp. 3399-3409
Crassostrea angulata, Crassostrea hongkongensis, adults, aquaculture, asymmetry, eggs, females, genetic analysis, genetic improvement, genetic markers, genome, hatching, heterosis, hybrids, interspecific hybridization, larvae, males, oysters, phenotype, progeny, reciprocal crosses, spermatozoa, China
The Hong Kong oyster (Crassostrea hongkongensis) and the Portuguese oyster (Crassostrea angulata) are important aquaculture species in southern China. To understand the potential feasibility of hybridization between the two species, two‐by‐two factorial cross‐experiments were conducted in Shenzhen (Guangdong province). An asymmetry in fertilization was revealed: C. hongkongensis eggs could be fertilized by C. angulata sperm, but the reciprocal cross was not possible. The fertilization and hatching success in the C. hongkongensis females × C. angulata males (HA) cross was lower than the two intraspecific crosses. Moreover, hybrid larvae had a slower growth rate than those from parental progenies due to genome incompatibility. However, the size of the spat and adult growth were greater than those of the two parental progeny, with obvious heterosis during the grow‐out stage. The survival advantage of hybrids was examined at all times. The surprising finding was that all hybrids were completely fertile, meaning they could produce normal and functional gametes. Genetic analysis by molecular markers was applied to confirm that the HA spat were true hybrids. Our results revealed that the interspecific hybridization between C. hongkongensis and C. angulata is completely successful in one direction. Furthermore, hybrids are viable, fast growing and completely fertile, which provides a promising method for the genetic improvement of oysters as a new aquaculture stock in southern China.