When Oysters Grow Up Too Fast

oystersGrowing a hard shell too fast can be troublesome for some oysters, so OSU researchers measured calcification rates of both Olympia and Pacific oysters for five days after spawning. A comparison of the two species is striking.

Commercially raised Pacific oysters consolidate this activity into a six-hour window, which is not much time to get the thing done right. When exposed to acidified water, energy stores can quickly run low.

Comparatively, native Olympia oysters don’t begin shell-building until several days after fertilization, and take their time growing their calcium carbonate shell. “This is a unique trait that allows native oysters to survive surprisingly high levels of acidification,” said Dr. George Waldbusser, PI on the project. Waldbusser continued, “But they didn’t develop that trait in response to rising acidification. It has been there for some time. It does make you wonder if there may be traits in other organisms that we’re unaware of that may be beneficial.”

The study is being published in The Journal of Limnology and Oceanography. This is the first time researchers have described acidified water’s effect on shell-building in both species of oysters’ larval stage.

In Other Beav-Sci News
Grandpa-aged men are needed for a new multivitamin metabolic impact study. The questions are: How well does your multivitamin work? And, are you sure?

OSU researchers are seeking gentlemen 70 years of age or older to help find out. The goal of this four-month research trial is to measure nutritional status improvements that may occur when people take multivitamins and mineral supplements. Not much is known about these supplements’ effects in older populations.

This age bracket has been shown to be deficient in vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The bulk of previous research has focused on adults aged 18 to 48. Men in generally good health, with no current or past history of chronic illness, aged 70 years and older are eligible.

Those interested in participating should contact Alex Michels at OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute via email at alex.michels@oregonstate.edu.

By Matthew Hunt