Study on ge­netic struc­ture of Omani lob­ster earns praise

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Mus­cat - An ab­stract on an Omani lob­ster species, sub­mit­ted by a PhD stu­dent from the Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Marine Biotech­nol­ogy (CEMB) at Sul­tan Qa­boos Univer­sity (SQU) has earned ac­co­lades at the lat­est edi­tion of the World Aqua­cul­ture So­ci­ety (WAS) con­fer­ence, held re­cently in Cape Town, South Africa.

WAS con­fer­ences are recog­nised as the pre­mier aqua­cul­ture con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion bring­ing to­gether a wide va­ri­ety of aqua­cul­tur­ists from the com­mer­cial, aca­demic and gov­ern­ment sec­tors, stated a press re­lease.

The ab­stract sub­mit­ted by Ru­faida Dhuhai al Breiki was ti­tled ‘A ge­netic Struc­ture Study of the Scal­loped Spiny Lob­ster ( Pan­ulirus homarus) from Oman’.

Omani peo­ple are very at­tached to the sea where fish­ing has been an im­por­tant in­come source. Among dif­fer­ent fish­eries, the scal­loped spiny lob­ster Pan­ulirus homarus has high so­cioe­co­nomic value for many fish­er­men from Shar­qiyah to Al Wusta and Dho­far gov­er­norates. How­ever, a sharp de­cline in land­ings (2,000 tonnes in the 1980s to only about 416 tonnes in 2015) of this species has been re­ported over the last three decades.

For the suc­cess­ful fish­ery man­age­ment of the scal­loped spiny lob­ster, it is vi­tal to un­der­stand the pop­u­la­tion ge­netic struc­ture. The study has been con­ducted to pro­vide nec­es­sary ge­netic knowl­edge which may con­trib­ute to the main­te­nance of P homarus pop­u­la­tion in Oman.

The study was con­ducted by util­is­ing, for the first time in this species, genome-wide ge­netic mark­ers, sin­gle nu­cleo­tide poly­mor­phism (SNP) mark­ers, and it pro­vides novel in­sights into the ge­netic struc­ture of P homarus pop­u­la­tions across the Omani coast. Find­ings of the study sug­gested that the lob­ster stock from Shuwaymiyah may rep­re­sent a dis­tinct stock.

Through her oral presentation, Ru­faida high­lighted the im­por­tance and find­ings of a re­search that was funded by The Re­search Coun­cil of Oman.

The study in­volved col­lab­o­ra­tion with re­search team from James Cook Univer­sity in Aus­tralia, aca­demics, re­search as­sis­tants and stu­dents from SQU and the Marine Sci­ence and Fish­eries Cen­tre from the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries in Oman. The ab­stract sub­mit­ted by Ru­faida has been se­lected as one of the best three ab­stracts sub­mit­ted by in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, and it re­ceived stu­dent travel award.

Ru­faida Dhuhai al Breiki

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