Researchers at the college’s Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center and at the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center in Wuxi, China, are continuing their long-term collaboration. Recent efforts include promoting freshwater mussel conservation, developing more robust and productive pearl-producing Chinese mussels, and possibly introducing a U.S. mussel to China that has the potential to produce colored pearls.

Professor Eric Hallerman, Professor Emeritus Dick Neves, and Laboratory Manager Dan Hua visited China to dedicate a new joint laboratory there as well as meet with other researchers to exchange information and facilitate collaboration between the teams. Virginia Tech then hosted visiting scientist Wen Haibo of the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center to see propagation of the pink heelsplitter mussel, which may be raised in Tennessee and exported to China to enhance the country’s pearl industry.

Read the full press release.