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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 9:169-180 (2017)  -  DOI:

Performance of oysters selected for dermo resistance compared to wild oysters in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries

Sandra Casas1, William Walton2, Glen Chaplin2, Scott Rikard2, John Supan1,3, Jerome La Peyre1,*

1School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, USA
3Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The performance of the progeny of eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica from Louisiana selected for resistance to dermo, caused by Perkinsus marinus (referred to as ‘OBOY’) and of wild oysters collected from Louisiana (Calcasieu Lake) and Alabama (Cedar Point, Perdido Pass), USA, estuaries was compared for their potential use in aquaculture. Seed oysters from each stock were deployed in September 2011 at 2 dermo-endemic sites, Dauphin Island and Sandy Bay, Alabama, using an adjustable longline system, and their survival and shell heights were monitored bimonthly. P. marinus infection intensity and condition index were measured at deployment and in March, July and September 2012. The OBOY stock showed lower mortality than the unselected stocks (Cedar Point, Perdido Pass, Calcasieu Lake) at Dauphin Island, and both Louisiana stocks had lower mortality than the Alabama stocks at Sandy Bay, a slightly more saline site. Mortality increased in summer, especially between July and September, concomitant with increasing P. marinus infection intensities at the higher temperatures and favorable salinities. At the higher salinity site, both Louisiana stocks had lower P. marinus infection intensities than the Perdido Pass stock, the stock with the highest percentage of oysters with moderate and heavy infection and cumulative mortality. The OBOY stock reached greater mean shell height than Calcasieu Lake and Perdido Pass stocks. Condition index of the oyster stocks decreased by more than half between March and July following expected spawning. Differences in stock performance highlight the importance of stock selection for aquaculture in dermo-endemic estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

KEY WORDS: Crassostrea virginica · Off-bottom aquaculture · Mortality · Growth · Dermo disease · Perkinsus marinus

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Cite this article as: Casas S, Walton W, Chaplin G, Rikard S, Supan J, La Peyre J (2017) Performance of oysters selected for dermo resistance compared to wild oysters in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Aquacult Environ Interact 9:169-180.

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