Macro-geographical differences influenced by family-based expression on cultured pearl grade, shape and colour in the black-lip ‘pearl oyster’ Pinctada margaritifera: a preliminary bi-local case study in French Polynesia

Abstract : n French Polynesia, the aquaculture of Pinctada margaritifera is carried out in numerous grow-out sites, located over three archipelagos (Gambier, Society and Tuamotu). To evaluate the impact of macro-geographical effects of these growing sites on pearl quality traits, five hatcheries produced families were used as homogeneous donor oysters in an experimental graft. The molluscs were then reared in two commercial locations: Tahaa Island (Society) and Rangiroa atoll (Tuamotu). At harvest, eight pearl quality traits were recorded and compared: surface defects, lustre, grade, circles, shape categories, darkness level, body and secondary colour and visual colour categories. Overall inter-site comparison revealed that: (1) all traits were affected by grow-out location except for lustre and round shape, and (2) a higher mean rate of valuable pearls was produced in Rangiroa. Indeed, for pearl grade, Rangiroa showed twice as many A-B and less reject samples than Tahaa. This was related to the number of surface defects (grade component): in Rangiroa, twice as many pearls had no defects and less pearls had up to 10 defects. Concerning pearl shape, more circled and baroque pearls were found in Tahaa (+10%). For colour variation, 10% more pearls have an attractive green overtone in Rangiroa than in Tahaa, where more grey body colour were harvested. Lustre does not seem to be affected by these two culture site (except at a family scale). This is the first time P. margaritifera donor family have been shown to vary in the quality of pearls they produce depending on their grow-out location.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 4:10:20 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 2:24:11 PM

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Chin-Long Ky, Carole Blay, Vaite Aiho, Philippe Cabral, Gilles Le Moullac, et al.. Macro-geographical differences influenced by family-based expression on cultured pearl grade, shape and colour in the black-lip ‘pearl oyster’ Pinctada margaritifera: a preliminary bi-local case study in French Polynesia. Aquaculture Research, Wiley, 2017, 48 (1), pp. 270-282. ⟨10.1111/are.12880⟩. ⟨hal-01469652⟩

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