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Mitochondrial DNA markers allow monitoring of oyster stock enhancement in the Chesapeake Bay
Milbury, C.A.; Meritt, D.W.; Newell, R.I.E.; Gaffney, P.M. (2004). Mitochondrial DNA markers allow monitoring of oyster stock enhancement in the Chesapeake Bay. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 145(2): 351-359.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Milbury, C.A.
  • Meritt, D.W.
  • Newell, R.I.E.
  • Gaffney, P.M.

    Overharvesting, habitat degradation, and disease have resulted in a century of decline for Atlantic Coast populations of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin). The introduction of oysters with superior disease resistance (e.g. oysters from different geographical areas, or genetically improved strains) may be useful in restoration efforts. In 1997 the Oyster Recovery Partnership and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science planted more than four million Louisiana oysters in the Choptank River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA. These oysters, which may be distinguished from Atlantic oysters by diagnostic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in their mitochondrial DNA, were expected to display enhanced survival and reproduction as a result of their superior resistance to Dermo disease. A high-throughput, synthesis-by-sequencing technique (Pyrosequencing) was used to determine the mitochondrial haplotypes of spat collected in the Choptank River and nearby regions of the bay. Of 3,545 spat collected in 1999, 2000, and 2001, 3,349 (94.47%) possessed the North Atlantic haplotype, 176 (4.68%) had the South Atlantic haplotype, and 3 individuals (0.08%) had the Gulf Coast haplotype. Detection of newly recruited oysters possessing the Gulf Coast haplotype in the Choptank River confirmed the survival and reproduction of the outplanted Louisiana oysters. If appropriate genetic tags are available, effective monitoring of stock-enhancement projects can be achieved with high-throughput molecular genotyping techniques.

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