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PROJECT: 2016/803

New technologies to improve Sydney rock oyster breeding and production

WHY WAS THE RESEARCH UNDERTAKEN?

The research was undertaken to develop novel techniques for Sydney Rock Oyster (SRO) hatchery breeding. These techniques have great potential to increase the reliability of hatchery runs for SRO breeding and commercial multiplication. SRO triploid oysters have a number of benefits for industry and the triploid component in this project was undertaken due to industry expressing interest in accessing triploids.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR FINDINGS/OUTCOMES SO FAR?

  • There are some real challenges to produce tetraploid SROs. Excellent progress has been made by The University of the Sunshine Coast to identify a spawn-inducing factor.  This could change the way that we create families of SROs and allow us to move away from strip spawning which will greatly improve breeding reliability. The University of the Sunshine Coast have also determined a procedure that fast-tracks hatchery conditioning of broodstock.

  • There has been great progress by the University of Newcastle to understand loss of fertility in SRO oocytes and how oocytes age. This provides information on how gametes can be preserved during spawn runs.

HOW IMPORTANT WILL THESE FINDINGS BE IMPORTANT TO INDUSTRY?

This research is crucial for hatchery operators and hatchery managers involved in breeding SROs. It has the potential to transform SRO breeding runs. Hatcheries will be able to preserve key broodstock lines instead of sacrificing them for strip spawning. This research will be published for application to other bivalve species.

Please see video below for the research summary.

PROJECT INVESTIGATOR

Dr Dove is a Research Scientist at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute (PSFI) and has been involved in mollusc research for 19 years. He has worked on both national and international programs to improve the quality and quantity of commercial oyster stocks and hatchery production techniques. His research is mostly focused on selective breeding and development of QX and winter mortality disease resistant Sydney rock oysters and Pacific oysters with resistance to the ostreid herpesvirus. Dr Dove also has a strong interest in the development of oyster culture in Northern Vietnam through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) programs.

NSW DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES

MIKE DOVE

Email: michael.dove@dpi.nsw.gov.au                                                           Phone: (02) 4916 3807

Research Scientist