Steven Roberts, University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Adam Luckenbach, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Cole Trapnell, University of Washington
Brent Vadopalas, Washington Sea Grant
Ten-Tsao Wong, Aquaculture Resource Center, University of Maryland
Sterile shellfish are desired in the aquaculture industry because of their high flesh quality, fast growth rates, low risk of genetically contaminating native populations, and low probability of becoming invasive species. However, the prevailing technique for producing sterile shellfish — ploidy manipulation — is time-consuming and inefficient. The researchers are addressing the need for a better sterilization method, which involves: 1) Establishing a more thorough understanding of the Pacific oyster’s (Crassostrea gigas) germ cell line, which is responsible for gamete production, and 2) Testing methods to block development of these germ cells. The research team aims to improve shellfish aquaculture’s sustainability and efficiency through this alternative sterilization method.