A long-term study funded by the ASSEMBLE Plus project has shown that adult mussels can grow from cryopreserved larvae without compromising the quality of the next generation’s offspring, neither for cryopreservation nor post-thawing development of them.
The mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis is one of the most farmed mollusks worldwide. This is the first time M. galloprovincialis spat produced from cryopreserved larvae were able to develop into adults at the same growth rates as control individuals, be cultured in a natural environment, and even reach an average commercial size at the same time as control mussels obtained from non-cryopreserved larvae. Additionally, the viability of the produced adults is apparently unaffected by the cryopreservation process, with fertility and offspring quality comparable with those of control mussels.
Estefania Paredes, researcher from the Universidade de Vigo, who led the research team that designed the cryopreservation protocol said “shellfish aquaculture needs the development of new tools such as this to reduce its reliance on natural spat collection while improving good practices and efficiently increasing production. The results signify strong evidence for the suitability of this cryopreservation method for use in mussel aquaculture and in research, where animals must be in optimal health.”
Details of the cryopreservation protocol can be found here.