Rachael's PhD project focuses on the genome and transcriptome assembly of the Greenshell™ Mussel. Perna canaliculus is a native New Zealand mollusc of economic importance to the New Zealand Aquaculture industry. However, little is known about this species. The lifecycle of the mussel has been studied, allowing for SPATNZ to produce spat from known individuals containing particular pedigrees. To aid current mussel breeding programs and to gain further insight into the genomics of an important New Zealand species, we are assembling the genome and transcriptome of the Greenshell™ Mussel and using Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to develop a cost effective, high throughput approach to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of interest for mussel breeding and thus using genomics to enable selectively breed mussels for the aquaculture industry. This research is a collaboration with AgResearch and Cawthron.
Rachael has recently and successfully defended her thesis, with just minor changes recommended, so she will be graduating and adding "Dr." to her name very soon! Congratulations, Rachael!