Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 965–977 | Cite as

Growth, mortality and disease susceptibility of oyster Ostrea edulis families obtained from brood stocks of different geographical origins, through on-growing in the Ría de Arousa (Galicia, NW Spain)

  • P. Mirella da Silva
  • José Fuentes
  • Antonio VillalbaEmail author
Research Article


Infection by Bonamia ostreae has caused extensive mortalities of oysters Ostrea edulis through European and United States coasts for at least 25 years. The development of a bonamiosis-resistant strain seems a promising strategy to fight against the disease. As a first step, evaluation of variability in productive traits and disease susceptibility of European populations was performed to identify favourable oyster populations with which to start selective breeding in Galicia (NW Spain). Oysters taken from Greece, Ireland, Ortigueira (Galicia) and Coroso (Galicia) were used as brood stock, and 19 seed families were produced (4–5 families from each origin). The oyster families were used to assess variability through on-growing in an area of the Ría de Arousa heavily affected by bonamiosis. Results showed significant differences in growth, mortality and susceptibility to bonamiosis and other diseases, both between origins and between families under origins. Bonamiosis was associated with mortality in the late stage of oyster on-growing. Indications of natural selection of bonamiosis less-susceptible oysters due to the long exposure of the Ortigueira population to bonamiosis were found. Other symbionts and pathological conditions were detected, of which herpes-like viral infections and disseminated neoplasia could also cause mortality. An index of the overall incidence of pathological conditions (OIPC) was estimated for each family. A significant correlation between the OIPC and the cumulative mortality of the families was noted. On average, oysters from autochthonous origins showed better performance. The results obtained with the best-performing families suggest that the profitability of oyster farming in Galicia would improve, even under bonamiosis pressure, by using appropriate oyster spat.


Tray Cumulative Mortality Brood Stock Oyster Population Selective Breeding Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



María Isabel Seoane and Valentín Rodríguez led all the work to produce oyster spat in the CIMA hatchery facilities, with the technical assistance of Teresa Andrade, María Sandra Burque, Victoria Castro and Azucena Rodríguez-Patón. The Company “Jose Maria Daporta Leiro e Hijos, S.L.” procured the oysters from Ireland, Greece and Coroso, and allowed the use of one culture raft. The shellfish farmers, Luis Nogueira, José L. Nogueira and Manuel Nogueira, helped with sampling. Gonzalo Mosquera and the “Confraría de Pescadores Nosa Señora do Carmen de Cariño” supplied the oysters from Ría de Ortigueira. Inke Sunila performed the in-situ TUNEL technique for apoptosis detection. Elena Penas, María Isabel Meléndez, Marta Andrade, Pilar Comesaña, Isidro Fernández, Ana Isabel González, María Victoria Gregorio, Ana Catalina Iglesias and Carlota Rodríguez provided field and laboratory technical assistance. This work was partially supported by funds of the “Secretaría Xeral de Investigación e Desenvolvemento Tecnolóxico da Xunta de Galicia”, through the project PGIDT-CIMA 01/1. P.M. da Silva was supported by successive scholarships from the “Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional” (AECI) and the “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico” (CNPq) of the Brazilian Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Mirella da Silva
    • 1
  • José Fuentes
    • 1
  • Antonio Villalba
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de Investigacións MariñasConsellería de Pesca e Asuntos MarítimosVilanova de ArousaSpain

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