Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 25, Number 3, July-September 2012
|Page(s)||269 - 280|
|Published online||28 November 2012|
Evidence of donor effect on cultured pearl quality from a duplicated grafting experiment on Pinctada margaritifera using wild donors
Ifremer, Centre du Pacifique, UMR EIO241, Labex
Corail, BP 7004,
Taravao, Tahiti, Polynésie
2 University of Neuchatel, Laboratory of Evolutionary Botany, rue Argand 11, 2000 Neuchatel, Switzerland
3 Ifremer, 12 rue des Résistants, BP 86, 56470 La Trinité-sur-mer, France
4 Ifremer, Unité PFOM, UMR 6539 LEMAR, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
5 Ifremer, UMR 5119 CNRS-IRD-Montpellier 2 Univ., 34095 Montpellier, France
a Corresponding author: Chin.Long.Ky@ifremer.fr
Received: 22 June 2012
Accepted: 30 October 2012
Producing high quality cultured black pearls from Pinctada margaritifera is one of the major challenges for the “pearl oyster” industry in French Polynesia. In order to assess donor effect on cultured pearl quality, wild Pinctada margaritifera originating from the Tuamotu Archipelago were used in a duplicated grafting experiment. After 12 months of culture, nucleus retention was assessed and seven pearl quality traits recorded on the 454 cultured pearls harvested from the experiment. The traits scored were nacre thickness and pearl weight, surface defects, lustre, grade, and the colour components: 1) darkness of cultured pearl colour, and 2) visual perception of colour class (bodycolor and/or overtone). Our results demonstrate for the first time that individual wild donors of implanted mantle grafts significantly affect these seven quality traits in P. margaritifera cultured pearls. This finding was repeated in two series of grafts made by different professional grafters. The wild donors could be ranked from “best” (e.g., the donor whose grafts produced the cultured pearl with the maximum lustre) to the “worst”. Moreover, we showed strong correlations between: 1) cultured pearl nacre thickness and grade, with grade A showing the greatest nacre thickness on average compared with grade D and rejects; and 2) nacre thickness/cultured pearl weight and colour components (darkness and visual “colour categories”), with the palest cultured pearls (i.e. white cultured pearls) being the smallest (lowest nacre thickness and weight). Thus, one way of enhancing P. margaritifera foundation stocks for a selective breeding program could be to select the “best” donors, using appropriate molecular tools. Generation of selected donor lines from these stocks through hatchery production would be one way to increase the quality of cultured pearl farming of P. margaritifera in French Polynesia.
Key words: Cultured pearl oyster / Pearl quality / Nacre / Donor mollusc / Genetic selection / Pteriidae / Blacklip pearl oyster / Pinctada margaritifera / French Polynesia
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2012
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