Oysters on the Half-Shell
Oyster lovers have been prime beneficiaries of the research done by Chris Langdon, COMES-Newport, and Yi-Cheng Su, COMES-Astoria.
For more than a decade, Chris and his staff have successfully supported the oyster industry by developing superior broodstock, introducing new strains of Pacific and Kumamoto oysters, and by working with industry to solve major problems in producing larvae. He's now working on transitioning the USDA-funded Molluscan Broodstock Program (MBP) to an industry-supported program. Commercial hatcheries and farms will work with OSU and USDA-ARS researchers based at HMSC to continue to enhance broodstock through selective breeding. A breeding program is especially important to counter the threats of global warming and ocean acidification that are predicted to have an increasingly adverse effect on oyster culture conditions in the 21st century. (2013 update)
Chris will, however, continue his work on shellfish. He’s involved in an NSF-funded project on the effects of ocean acidification on bivalve larvae, which deeply affects production, as well as on a project studying the toxicity to oysters and clams of oil from BP’s Deep Horizon oil spill. In addition, he continues his work on the effects of Vibrio tubiashii on oyster larvae, and his research on the feeding physiology and ecology of the native oyster Ostrea lurida. (For updates on the NSF project, follow the NSF, Oregon Public Broadcast or NBC Sciencenews update.)
Yi-Cheng and his staff continue to develop post-harvest intervention strategies to eliminate pathogens from seafood for safe consumption. Efforts have focused on development of a low-temperature depuration process (allowing the oysters to continue their filtering activity in a tank of clean seawater, until contaminants are removed) for reducing Vibrio parahaemolyticus in raw oysters. One of his students, Dunyu Xi, has explored the application of probiotics and green tea extract in post-harvest processes of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) for reducing Vibrio parahaemolyticus and extending shelf life. Two others, Sureerat Phuvasate and Lei Ma, are working on projects to develop post-harvest processes for eliminating V. parahaemolyticus from shellfish by depuration and high pressure processing. A fourth student, Jing Mou, is investigating the prevalence of foodborne pathogens in retail seafood.
UPDATE - 9/17/13 - Nisbet, Goose Point, and Ocean Acidification
UPDATE - 9/17/13 - Seattle Times Ocean Acidification Update and Video
UPDATE - 5/27/14 - Taylor Shellifish and Ocean Acidification
UPDATE - 10//13/14 - The Beauty of Oyster Farming Video