Oregon State University

Molluscan Broodstock Program

About the Molluscan Broodstock Program (MBP)

MBP has been producing and selecting Pacific oysters since 1996. The broodstock population is based on six founder cohorts of 50 families each, produced from 600 "wild" oysters collected from different areas on the West coast. This broad founder population, together with implementation of appropriate breeding schemes, has helped reduce the negative effects of inbreeding on family yields.

Cohorts of Pacific oyster families are produced in a pilot-scale hatchery located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University.  Pedigreed broodstock are spawned and eggs are fertilized with sperm from the appropriate male.  Larvae and juvenile oysters (spat) are reared on algal diets in the MBP nursery.  Spat from each family have been planted at commercial grow-out sites in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Families with the highest survival and yields (meat weights) are identified and crossed to produce subsequent generations for selection. Selected broodstock are provided to industry to enhance commercial production. A repository preserves valuable genetic material for future applications.

MBP has achieved an average increase in yield of 35% (whole live weight) compared with yields of families from unselected broodstock. The West coast oyster industry has made extensive use of MBP broodstock. Future characteristics to be selected include shell and mantle color and shell shape.

MBP was funded as a Special Project through the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture). In 2013, Federal funding ceased and industry partners are funding the program. The new program is called iMBP to denote that it is now primarily industry-supported.

About the newest sea-veggie -dulse 

Download MBP Brochure

Oysters and broodstock images

Contact Info

Copyright ©  2018 Oregon State University


2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR  97365
Tel:  541 867-0230
(at the Hatfield 
Marine Science Center)


2001 Marine Drive, Room 253
Astoria, OR  97103
503 325-4531
(at the Seafood Research 
& Education Center)