Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

A molecular method to detect and identify the native species of southwestern Atlantic Crassostrea (Mollusca: Ostreidae)

Ludwig, SandraPatella, RaquelStoiev, SérgioCastilho-Westphal, GiselaV. F Girotto, MarcusOstrensky, Antonio

Among oysters, species of Crassostrea (Sacco, 1897) are the most attractive to aquaculture. In Brazil, the genus is represented by C. rhizophorae (Guilding, 1828) and C. brasiliana (Lamarck, 1819). Because the maturation and breeding technology is not well developed for these species, aquaculturists need a reliable method to decide the correct time to place spat collectors in the field, and to identify both species, which are morphologically similar. In this study a specific Multiplex PCR protocol was developed, using one pair of universal primers from 18S rDNA as a positive control and a pair of specific primers for each target species. The sensitivity and specificity of the protocol was evaluated. It detected C. rhizophorae DNA in low concentrations, and C. brasiliana DNA in even lower concentrations. Further, the Multiplex PCR proved efficient in detecting DNA in concentrations equivalent to that of a single larva of each species, either separated or combined, when mixed with total DNA extract of a plankton sample representing 1000 L of filtered water. Field tests confirmed the applicability of the protocol, which holds the promise to become an important tool for aquaculture or conservation programs, allowing for the continuous monitoring of the life cycle of C. brasiliana and C. rhizophorae, by detecting the right periods of larval release and settlement.

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