Basics of Triploidy

Triploidy is a genetic condition in which an organism has three sets of chromosomes. Most plant and animal cells are diploid, having one set of chromosomes from each parent, two sets in total. A number of common agricultural crops have been improved through polyploidy, including seedless watermelon, bananas, and navel oranges.

Triploid oysters and other triploid shellfish are reproductively sterile, incapable of normal sexual maturation. This sterility leads both to improved growth rates and to improved meat quality in the summer, when diploid oysters spawn. Some evidence for increased disease resistance has also been observed.

In the late 1970s, scientists began work to induce triploidy in shellfish. In 1994, based on the work of scientists from Rutgers University, 4Cs Breeding Technologies developed a proprietary technology for creating tetraplids, thereby enabling the production of natural triploid oysters.

To learn more about triploidy, see Cell Division Basics. For more information on the history of triploidy, see Development of Induced Triploidy and Development of Natural Triploidy. Finally, read about some of the many Benefits of Triploidy.