NATIONAL AGRONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (INRA) - SCRIBE
Research Group: Fish Reproduction
Scientific Interest: Gonad Physiology
Description of Research: The SCRIBE research unit (joint research unit for fish physiology, biodiversity and the environment) is working towards improving understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying puberty onset, gamete production and spawning in fish. The research is directed towards 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.
Lead Researcher(s): Florence Le Gac, Jean-Jacques Lareyre
Contact Details: INRA-SCRIBE, Campus Scientifique de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex.
Institute Website: http://w3.rennes.inra.fr/scribe
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: Neuroendocrinology
Description of Research: Research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which the hypothalamus regulates the pituitary to secrete gonadotropins. This includes the GnRH/GnRHR system, the dopamine/dopamine D2-R system and also more recently the kisspeptin/GPR54 systems. Work is also conducted on how physiological changes arise from changes in social status. Tilapia and zebrafish are used as models, as well as all the leading aquaculture species in Israel (sturgeon, carp, mullet, bass etc.). Techniques used range from cellular to molecular and biochemical.
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
UNIVERSITY OF CADIZ, DEPT OF BIOLOGY, FACULTY OF MARINE & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Research Group: Fish Neuroendocrinology
Scientific interest: Neuroendocrinology; photoperiod, pineal gland, melatonin
Description of research: Fish neuroanatomy and neuroendocrinology, in particular for the marine teleost species seabream, seabass and sole. These studies include the elaboration of brain atlases for these three species and the study of the main neuroendocrine systems controlling reproduction. Attention focuses on GnRH in perciforms and analysis of the distribution of different GnRH systems (GnRH-1, GnRH-2 and GnRH-3), their pattern of projection, their targets (GnRH receptors) and the ontogeny of different GnRH cell populations.
Research also focuses on the mechanisms underlying the perception of photoperiodic information and its propagation to central endocrine centres controlling reproduction and other rhythmic processes in fish. The characteristics of the pineal organ are analysed in seabass and sole, as well as the interaction of melatonin and pineal efferents with the main endocrine centres, and melatonin mechanisms of action via specific receptors along the brain-pituitary-gonad axis. The effects of light and thermal cycles on the development of the circadian system in sole are also being investigated.
Lead researcher(s): José A. Munoz-Cueto
Contact details: Departamento de Biologia, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, Universidad de Cadiz, Poligono Rio San Pedro, E-11510-Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain. Tel: +34 956 016023
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY, FACULTY OF SCIENCE, DEPT BIOLOGY
Research Group: Endocrinology & Metabolism
Scientific Interest: Gamete physiology, gonad physiology, neuroendocrinology
Description of research: Regulation of testis maturation, in particular of spermatogonial stem cell activity and spermatogenesis, by endocrine and paracrine signalling mechanisms. Identity and role of hormone / growth factor receptors in the regulation of spermatogenesis.
Lead researcher(s): Jan Bogerd (molecular biology) and Rüdiger W. Schulz (morphology, physiology)
Contact details: Utrecht University, Dept Biology, Postbus 80058, 3508 TB Utrecht, Netherlands
Institute website: http://www.bio.uu.nl/enmeta
HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH, INSTITUTE OF AQUACULTURE
Research Group: Reproductive biology
Scientific Interest: Gamete physiology, gonad physiology, endocrinology
Description of research: The study of reproductive biology and endocrinology in finfish. The identification of reproductive dysfunctions occuring in male and female brood fish in captivity. The development of pharmacological methods for the control of reproduction, induction of spawning and improvement of sperm quality in commercially important cultured fish. A major application of this research is the development of controlled-release delivery systems (implants) for agonists of the neuropeptide gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRHa). Species of interest include the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), shi drum (umibrina cirrosa), dusky grouper (Epiniephelus marginatus), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) and atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus).
Lead researcher(s): Constantinos C. MYLONAS
Contact details: Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Aquaculture, Ex US Military Base of Gournes, PO Box 2214, Iraklion, Crete 71003.
UNIVERSITY OF THE SUNSHINE COAST, SCHOOL OF SCIENCE & EDUCATION
Research Group: Aquaculture Biotechnology
Lead researcher(s): Abigail ELIZUR
Contact details: School of Science & Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland 4558, Australia
NATIONAL TAIWAN OCEAN UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF AQUACULTURE
Scientific Interest: Endocrine physiology, stress physiology and immunity, gamete physiology, gonad physiology
Description of research: The focus is on important marine aquaculture species, such as the black porgy and the grouper. Key research areas are: fish reproductive physiology, sex differentiation and sex change in fish, reproductive endocrinology and reproduction in coral, hormone regulation in fish, maturation mechanisms in fish, environmental physiology and immunity in fish, and the reproductive physiology of prawns.
Lead researcher(s): Ching Fong CHANG
Contact details: Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan 20224
Website:National Taiwan Ocean University
NOAA, NORTHWEST FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER
Research Group: Physiology Team (integrative fish biology program)
Scientific Interest: Neuroendocrinology, growth / reproduction interactions
Description of research: Research projects include both basic and applied studies on the endocrine control of reproduction in fish, primarily salmon. Main interests are the physiology of gonadotropins, mechanisms of puberty in fish, and how growth and environmental factors influence the age of sexual maturity. Under the captive broodstock research project, research is conducted on how growth at various points in the life cycle influences the age of sexual maturation, fecundity, egg size and gamete viability. The goal of this research is to develop diets and growth regimes that allow for better control of the age of maturation in captively-reared fish. How rearing temperature influences the seasonal timing of spawning is also being investigated, in order to develop methods to advance spawning time in captively reared fish, which are delayed from wild fish. Molecular studies are also being conducted to better understand regulation of hormone receptors, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone and gonadotropin receptors.
Lead researcher(s): Penny SWANSON
Contact details: NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Blvd East, Seattle, WA, USA.
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.
INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH (IMR), BERGEN.
Scientific Interest: Neuroendocrinology
Description of research: Growth physiology and reproduction in farmed fish species such as Atlantic Salmon, Atlantic Cod and Atlantic halibut. Environmental and endocrine control of reproduction and links to growth. Molecular reproductive endocrinology in salmon, cod and halibut, with focus on gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors. Cod genome programme. Sex differentiation and sex reversal in cod and halibut.
Lead researcher(s): Geir-Lasse Taranger
Contact details: Havforskningsinstituttet, Postboks 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen.