Study by Oceano Fresco scientists proposes innovative answers for the improvement of boa clams

Nazaré, Portugal, July 24, 2020 . A team led by researchers from the aquaculture company Oceano Fresco SA has just published in peer journal a scientific article that points out new paths for the development of clam breeding programs, in particular the so-called “boa clam” ( Ruditapes decussatus ). With the collaboration of scientists from University of A Coruña (Spain) and CIIMAR , the article entitled 'Genetic variability in ruditapes decussatus clam combined with perkinsus infection level to support founder population selection for a breeding program' analyzes the genetic variability of different populations of that species, integrating the level of infection by the infectious agent Perkinsus olseni , the main pest of clams and a major obstacle to greater economic exploitation of this bivalve.

Although clam cultivation is an important economic activity that generates revenues of more than 7 billion euros per year, there are currently relatively few sites dedicated to its industrial production in Europe. Additionally, most producers today focus on an Asian invasive species, while the native variety ruditapes decussatus has been progressively neglected in recent decades, despite its much higher economic and nutritional value. This is due to the fact that the cultivation of this species is more difficult and unpredictable, due to factors such as the aforementioned Perkinsus . The development of a breeding program that allows constant production and high survival rates is therefore crucial for the replacement and growth of the species as a food product.

According to Oceano Fresco, the conclusions of the article 'will make it possible to select populations with the most suitable characteristics, which will serve as the basis for the founding population of the selective breeding program that we are going to set in motion'.

The article was published under the Project I&DT SEMEAR nº 22390 (CENTRO-02-0651-FEDER-011546), co-financed by the Centro Operacional Program (Portugal) – a system to encourage business innovation by the Portuguese Government and the European Union. The underlying research was also supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under concession contract No.

Article access DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9728