NATIONAL AGRONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (INRA) - SCRIBE
Research Group: Fish Reproduction
Scientific Interest: (a)Neuroendocrinology, gonad physiology; (b,c)gamete physiology
Description of Research: Research is directed towards:
(a)molecular characterisation of genes involved in the endocrine (estradiol, testosterone, 11 ketotestosterone, progestin...) and / or paracrine regulation of spermatogenesis using functional genomic approaches (transcriptome). This study includes the functional and biochemical characterisation of key molecules (TGF beta members pathway etc.) involved in the reciprocal interactions between the somatic and germ cells in the testicule. Research investigates the molecular and functional characterisation of candidate neuroendocrine pathways involved in gonadotrophin release in fish; studies are carried out into the KISS/GPR54 and GnRH/GnRH receptor pathways that are involved in GnRH and gonadotrophin release respectively. These studies include the identification of the different key molecules, their functional characterisation (biochemical and biological properties) and their regulation.
(b)Cryobiology of fish spermatozoa and embryonic cells; biotechnologies for regenerating fish genomes; development of genetic analysis tools adapted to cryoconservation and regeneration. The application of this research is orientated towards the creation and management of cryobanks for freezing fish sperm and embryos, with the aim of :(i)conserving fish genetic resources for fish farming purposes; (ii)conserving genetic resources for endangered fish species. This second objective follows an approach that considers not only the conservation of the species themselves, but also the protection and restoration of the natural environment.
(c)Genomic analysis of oocyte maturation and egg quality in fish; understanding the molecular mechanisms triggering oocyte/follicle competence acquisition and egg quality. The effects of endocrine disrupters on oocyte maturation and egg quality are also being studied. This research has important practical applications to the fish farming industry: (i)synchronising egg production during the reproductive season in order to obtain homogenous cohorts of fry; (ii)obtaining eggs out of the reproductive season, to ensure a regular supply of fry throughout the year; (iii)controlling egg quality in all types of farming conditions.
Lead Researcher(s): (a)Florence Le Gac, Jean-Jacques Lareyre; (b)Cathérine LABBE, Pierre-Yves LE BAIL; (c)Julien BOBE
Contact Details: INRA-SCRIBE, Campus Scientifique de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex.
INSTITUTO DE ACUICULTURA DE TORRE DE LA SAL, SPANISH COUNCIL FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (IATS-CSIC)
Research Group: Group of Fish Reproductive Physiology (GFRP)
Scientific Interest: Gonad physiology; neuroendocrinology; photoperiod, pineal gland, melatonin
Description of Research: The aim of the GFRP is to improve knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate the fish reproductive process by: 1) development of in vitro and in vivo models to study the function of gonadotropins (GTH's) as key factors in gonad development and gametogenesis; 2) studies on the function of GnRH(s) and GTH(s) in sexual differentiation, puberty and the reproductive cycle; 3) understanding the role of environmental factors such as photoperiod and temperature on the control of puberty and the reproductive cycle; 4) generation of tools related to gene transfer in fish and their application to studies of gene function and evaluation for future biotechnological applications (gene therapy); 5) promotion of studies for identification and genetic analysis of molecular markers associated with traits of interest to aquaculture (sex ratio, precocity); 6) development of biotechnological tools for application in the control and manipulation of reproductive processes in farmed populations.
Lead Researcher(s): Silvia Zanuy (gametogenesis), Manuel Carrillo (environmental control), Ana Gomez (molecular biology), Alicia Felip (molecular markers)
Contact Details: Instituto de Acuicultura de Torre de la Sal, Torre de la Sal S/N, 12595 Ribera de Cabanes, Castellon, Spain
Research Group: Fish Reproduction
Scientific Interest: Growth / Reproduction Interactions
Description of research: Research is devoted to exploring the processes leading to both reproduction and growth in fish. Work focuses on the influence of the brain-pituitary-gonad axis on reproduction and how it interacts with all the stages on the fish life cycle. ELISA's have been developed for the measurement of gonadotropins and GH, based on recombinant proteins, as well as calibrated methods for the measurement of estradiol, 11-ketotestosterone and 17alpha, 20beta, dihydroxy-progesterone.
Lead researcher(s): Berta Levavi-Sivan
Contact details: Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Department of Animal Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot. 76100 Israel. Tel (office): +972 8 9489988; Tel (lab): +972 8 9489868; Fax: +972 8 9465763.
UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING, INSTITUTE OF AQUACULTURE
Research Group: Genetics and Reproduction
Country: Scotland, UK
Scientific interest: Photoperiod, pineal gland, melatonin
Description of research: The major focus of the genetics and reproduction group is on management of broodstock and production of fish as a controllable and sustainable resource. This involves studies of control of maturation and puberty, development and management of selective breeding programmes, mechanisms involved in sex differentiation and gender control, and basic research on important traits and genes. All of these areas combine use of innovative techniques in molecular biology, genomics and proteomics, with whole animal studies of physiology and function, in particular where they are relevant to commercial culture. A major thrust in recent years has been the application of this expertise to questions raised by the ever-expaning interests in new aquaculture species and species diversification, particularly with regards to marine fish. Within the reproduction team more specifically, three main fields are under investigation: reproductive physiology and photoperiodic control of reproduction and growth in marine fish (currently the main focus is on salmon, cod, trout and sea bass), molecular basis of the "photoperiodism" network, focusing on the melatonin (light cascade) and clock gene (chronobiology) systems (currently the main focus is on salmon, tilapia, catfish and cod) and genetic effects on fish performance and welfare (e.g. characterisation of triploid salmon and cod). The work is both scientific in terms of understanding the mechanisms behind the biological effects such as circadian rhythms of melatonin, clock genes, brain-pituitary-gonad axis; and applied in order to improve the production techniques for salmon, trout, sea bass, cod, Nile tilapia and catfish.
Lead researcher(s): Hervé MIGAUD, Andrew DAVIE, John TAYLOR
Contact details: University of Stirling, Institute of Aquaculture, FK94LA Stirling, UK
POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF MARCHE (UNIVPM); MARINE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT (DISMAR)
Research Group: Reproduction & Developmental Biology
Scientific Interest: Gonad physiology
Description of Research: The group is working towards improving understanding and knowledge of (a)gamete quality in teleosts, (b)reproductive endocrinology and physiology of fish, (c)development of new technologies for environmentally-friendly aquaculture, and (d)reproductive toxicology to monitor environmental risks. (a)In terms of gametes, the quality of eggs and sperm may be affected by chemical and physical factors (meteorological and oceanographical parameters such as temperature, pH, salinity, oxygen, carbon dioxide etc.), as well as by anthropogenic factors. The global changes in marine species may have dramatic effects on fecundity, fish biomass and biodiversity of the most economically relevant species. The quality of gametes can be evaluated by molecular, cellular and morphological tools. These results may be used as an early warning signal to avoid the collapse of resources and to improve their future management. (b)Research into the reproductive endocrinology and physiology of fish is directed towards improved knowledge for the selection of new species for aquaculture, including tropical fish for the aquarium trade and for the purposes of restocking endangered species into their natural habitat. (c)Development of new biotechnologies for environmentally-friendly aquaculture is concerned with natural products displaying immuno-modulatory activity, probiotics and prebiotics. Their properties are identified by biological tests, commercial feed additives developed, administration protocols optimised and fish welfare taken into account (improvement of stress tolerance, growth, food intake and health status). (d)One of the goals of reproductive toxicology research is to develop biomarkers to determine how contaminants alter the health of wild populations. In order to evaluate if remedial action reduces the toxic effects of exposure to mixtures of contaminants, a wide spectrum of reproductive aspects (endocrinology, immunity, genotoxicology) are studied using a genomic and proteomic approach on various marine fish models (Sparus aurata, Solea solea, Fundulus heteroclitus, Danio rerio).
Lead Researcher: Oliana Carnevali
Contact Details: Universita Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF MARINE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, DEPT OF MARINE BIOSCIENCES
Research Group: Fish physiology
Scientific Interest: Gamete physiology, gonad physiology
Description of research: Development of surrogate broodstock technology in fish by germ cell transplantation; one of the final objectives of this study is to make surrogate mackerel recipients produce bluefin tuna gametes. Cryopreservation of fish germ cells; since there is no cryopreservation technique for fish eggs and embryos currently available, this will be a breakthrough for preservation of fish genetic resources. In vitro culture of fish germ cells in order to use them as an alternative to ES cells. Analysis of endocrine control of fish germ cell proliferation and differentiation.
Lead researcher(s): Goro YOSHIZAKI
Contact details: Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology, Dept of Marine Biosciences, 4-5-7 Konan, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, 108-8477 Japan.
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, DIVISION OF NATURAL SCIENCES
Research Group: Reproductive biology of fish, aquaculture
Scientific Interest: Neuroendocrinology
Description of research: Endocrine control of fish sexual behaviour, environmental influence on sexual behaviour, production of recombinant fish hormones for aquaculture.
Lead researcher(s): Makito KOBAYASHI
Contact details: International Christian University, Division of Natural Sciences, 3-19-2 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8585 Japan.