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Add To Calendar 26/02/2016 11:30:0026/02/2016 11:50:00America/ChicagoAquaculture 2016All-female crustacean aquaculture Champagne 1The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY

All-female crustacean aquaculture

Assaf Shechter1*, Ohad Rosen1, Brit Eilam1, Dudu Azulay1 and Amir Sagi1,2  
 
1Enzootic Holdings Ltd., 2372 Morse Avenue, Suite #408, Irvine, CA 92614, USA.
2Dpt. of Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
*Corresponding author, Enzootic Holdings Ltd. Founder & CEO, E-mail: assaf@enzootic.com

The attributes of gender selection in animal breeding and the ability to form an agro-technical infrastructure around it which improves performance is already well established in various cultured animals such as cattle, poultry and fish. On this note, clear dimorphic growth patterns are exhibited between sexes of most farmed decapod crustaceans (e.g., shrimp, prawns and crabs). The average size, growth rate, feed conversion efficiency and social behavior are just a few parameters specifically linked to gender. As of today, crustaceans' aquaculture is still predominantly based on a product of mix populations which suppresses most sexual dimorphic growth patterns. Studies in shrimp, prawns and crayfish have all demonstrated the advantages of mono-sex populations in terms of yield and commercial value, as energy is allocated towards growth rather than reproduction-related processes. Production of mono-sex culture is also advantageous to hatcheries which seek to protect their highly selective lines. Thus, culturing mono-sex populations, either all-male or all-female, produces higher yields with greater commercial value for both growers and hatcheries. Recent scientific advancements in the identification of sex determining factors in crustaceans led to the successful production of all-male population of the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii. This pioneering technology was the first RNAi-based commercially applied in aquaculture. While in some crustacean species all-male populations generate higher yields, several studies suggest that under intensified farming conditions and in most presently farmed crustacean species, it is all-female population which outperform both mix and all-male population, hence they are economically favorable. We have recently completed the development of a novel proprietary technology which supplies broodstock for the production of all-female M. rosenbergii population. This technology harnesses the remarkable sexual plasticity of crustaceans while avoiding the use of genetic modifications, hormones or chemicals and could potentially be implemented in any desired decapod crustaceans.

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