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DNA-based family identification for Pacific scallop selective breeding program in BC



Our goals are to:

  1. Develop molecular techniques to match parents to offspring and
  2. Locate molecular markers for meat yield in Pacific scallops, enabling selective breeding for scallops with a sufficiently high meat yield to fuel expansion of the scallop industry in BC into new markets.

Microsatellite loci that can be used for family ID and parentage assignment in scallops, including the Pacific scallop, have been isolated recently (Sato et al. 2005, An et al. 2005, Elfstrom et al. 2005a, Zhao et al. 2006). As part of the Island Scallop selective breeding program, we will evaluate polymorphism at all of the published microsatellite loci and identify 6-10 loci that can reliably be used to assign progeny to parents. This will enable us to raise scallops under common conditions to control for environmental variation and will also greatly reduce the hatchery costs of separate rearing tanks for each family. We will create approximately 250 full- and half-sib families and, using DNA analysis of tissue samples, relate the parents to 6,000 of their progeny. Juveniles will be PIT-tagged at the time of sampling and raised to adults at which point we will estimate heritabilities and genetic correlations for growth rate and meat.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2006 - 2008


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Ruth Withler

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