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Modern Oysters for a New Sustainable Era

by the Fish Site Editor
19 June 2009, at 1:00am

CATALINA ISLAND, US - Professor Donal Manahan of USCs Wrigley Marine Science Center is doing research with oysters that could not only bring balance back to the oceans wounded ecosystem, but also help feed the worlds burgeoning population as well.

Manahan and his research partner, professor Dennis Hedgecock, are at the forefront of metabolic research at the small-scale oyster hatchery near Two Harbors on Catalina, writes Krista Simmons for TheTimes.

Theyre focusing on a process called hybrid vigor, wherein pedigree oysters are inbred, then crossed to produce what Manahan calls "gangbuster growers." Manahan and Hedgecock are trying to pinpoint which combinations create the fastest growing, most resilient hybrids of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas).

"As the environment changes youll start seeing changes in the food chain. Can we grow strains that need less food? That will produce less waste? Are there particular strains that will do very well in different temperatures? Were trying to look at all the metabolic processes that affect that," Manahan told TheTimes.

In the future, there is a potential for researchers to look at which strains are most resistant to vibrio bacteria and other microorganisms that have historically been a threat to their survival.

the Fish Site Editor

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