Improving pearls using next-gen genomics

For the past decade, our researchers have worked with pearl industry leader Autore R&D Pty Ltd to increase the quality and consistency of pearls. 

UQ and Autore combined their respective expertise in marine genomics and pearl propagation to understand the relationship between genes and pearl quality, with the aim of determining the best oysters and conditions to produce the best pearls. Australia produces the South Sea Pearl, the world’s most valuable pearl.

The team developed a suite of revolutionary methods that have seen a dramatic increase in predicting oysters that will give rise to super-high-quality pearls.

Their novel approach, which uses innovative genomic and bioinformatics techniques, circumvents traditional hatchery procedures, saving the industry time and money while also increasing the value and consistency of the final product – the pearl.

See our impact

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