Made in Ludhiana: Vet varsity succeeds in creating freshwater pearls
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Made in Ludhiana: Vet varsity succeeds in creating freshwater pearls

punjab Updated: Apr 05, 2017 14:42 IST
Arjun Sharma
Arjun Sharma
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University,Sutlej River,freshwater pearls

Dr Abhed Pandey showing pearls developed inside mussels through surgery in GADVASU on Tuesday.(JS Grewal /HT)

Pearls are a prized possession and much sought-after for their association with regality and ornamental value. The good news is that Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University has developed a technique where mussels are used to create pure pearls. With this, you will soon get authentic ‘Made in Ludhiana’ pearls of different colours.

The college of fisheries is working on the project where mussels brought from Sutlej River and Harike Lake are implanted with the nucleus from dead mussel shell power that transforms into a pearl in about a year’s time. Experiments are on at the varsity to infuse different colours in these pearls.

The success rate of the experiment is encouraging and the department was able to transform at least 1,000 nuclei into pearls of different shapes and sizes.

The project on the formation of freshwater pearls was allotted to the department of aquaculture of the college of fisheries in 2012 by University Grants Commission (UGC) in which the nucleus is surgically transplanted to a mussel and kept in an experimental fish pond for a year.

Assistant professor Dr Abhed Pandey, who was allotted the project, said this was for the first time that pearls were formed inside mussels through surgery in the northern part of the country.

“The mouth of mussels are opened not more than 1cm through holders and the nucleus is surgically implanted inside the mussel. There are three methods to implant the material but the popularly used method is mantle cavity,” he said.

Dr Pandey said after the nucleus was implanted, a dose of antibiotic was administered to the mussel to avoid any infection. “The mussel is then kept in a tub of water for 10 days, in case it rejects the foreign material inserted through surgery. After that, the mussel is put inside a fish pond,” he added.

The department is now trying to standardise the technology and tests for colourful pearls. Dean Dr Asha Dhawan said the technology could be later commercialised through technology transfer. “This is a prestigious project allotted to Gadvasu on which our scientists have worked hard. The profitability is also being analysed,” she added.

First Published: Apr 05, 2017 14:41 IST