Molecular markers to assist the South African abalone industry
HALIOTIS MIDAE (PERLEMOEN) IS THE ONLY southern African species of abalone to be commercially exploited. Commercial farms are currently producing 750 tons per annum, making this an economically viable enterprise. Increasing world demand and dwindling natural populations have, however, necessitated the adoption of genetic management practices on South African abalone farms to remain sustainable. This can be done by means of DNA markers, which are employed to investigate various phenomena from genetic diversity, parentage and broodstock contributions to linkage mapping and marker-assisted selection for genetic enhancement of the commercial species. The use of microsatellite markers for various abalone aquaculture applications is highlighted in this review.