The project has three main objectives.
(a) To compare the amount of genetic variation of aquacultured stocks of Sparus aurata with that of wild populations of the same species. This will indicate if current practice of renewal of farmed stocks leads to inbreeding and, thus, to long-term deterioration of the performance of aquacultured stocks. It will also provide information as to whether there are geographic differences among cultured and wild stocks that may affect decisions regarding stocking farms with animals from different areas of the species' distribution.
(b) To obtain an estimate of the genetic diversity of the wild populations of species related to Sparus aurata that are candidates for aquaculture. This information will be useful for the choice of the founding stocks of such farms.
(c) To explore the potential of hybrids between Sparus aurata and two related species (Pagrus pagrus and Puntazzo puntazzo) for aquaculture.
The project evolves the following phases and methodologies: 1- sampling: wild populations of several species will be sampled in different geographic localities as well as farmed gilthead seabream; 2- morphological measurements: each sampled animal will be examined for eight morphological characters; 3 - genetic measurements: each animal will be scored for three sets of genetic markers (mitochondrial DNA, microsatellites and allozymes); 4 - hybridization experiments: Sparus aurata will be crossed to Pagrus pagrus and Puntazzo puntazzo. The viability, growth and feeding behaviour, sexual development and fertility of hybrids will be studied.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
71003 Iraklion - Crete