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"New Pearl Oyster Species": Pinctada persica

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  • "New Pearl Oyster Species": Pinctada persica

    On a controversial note, the SSEF lab in Basel, Switzerland, has introduced the world to a new pearl oyster species, aptly dubbed as Pinctada persica: a unique mollusk species that is only found in the Persian Gulf. This would be the first time -to my knowledge- that a pearl oyster species has been identified by its genetic markings or DNA. Previously, pearl producing species have been described and identified mainly by its shell and anatomical traits, but this is a new era of technological advances and DNA analysis.

    The information was just released in "Facette Magazine" (issue #27, june 2021, you can read the whole magazine by clicking HERE) and this is a snip of the info:

    Interestingly, the other two sampled pearls were attributed to another species: Pinctada persica or Pinctada margaritifera persica, which is a rare member of the Pinctada margaritifera species complex.
    SSEF cover of Pinctada persica article


    This "new species" has been considered a sub-species of the "Black-lipped pearl oyster" Pinctada margaritifera, and there is another similar precedent to this one: the "Panamic Black Lipped pearl oyster" P. mazatlanica from the Americas...also once considered a sub-species of the same species, but later identified as a unique species due to its unique anatomical and shell traits, but this would be the first time a species would be recognized due to its unique DNA fingerprint.

    This issue of Facette includes other interesting articles about pearl and coral DNA testing, so enjoy the information!
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