The black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon, is one of the most economically important cultured species in Thailand. The annual production was estimated to be approximately 225,000 metric tons in 2002, but has significantly decreased owing to the outbreak of diseases since 2003. Moreover, farming of P. monodon in Thailand relies almost entirely on wild-caught broodstock because of poor reproductive maturation of cultured shrimp. The breeding of pond-reared P. monodon is extremely difficult and rarely produces enough larvae with the quality level required by the industry. The potential use of selectively bred stocks with improved culture performance, disease resistance and/or other commercially desired traits is a major determinant of sustainability of the shrimp industry.
Our research program aims to understand molecular biology of reproductive maturation and growth of this important species in order to improve farming sustainability. Four major research areas composing of reproductive maturation, growth and development, genetic markers and nutrigenomics are currently being explored in our laboratory