NATIONAL AGRONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (INRA) - SCRIBE
Research Group: Fish Reproduction
Research Application: Puberty; fertility, spawning and sex control
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:
(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.
(b)Improving understanding of the role and action of sex steroids during gonadal differentiation in different fish models (rainbow trout, sea bass, sea bream etc.). Characterisation of genes involved in sex determinism and differentiation, and the external factors regulating their expression. Knowledge acquired will be applied to developing alternative methods for sex control in aquaculture.
Lead Researcher(s): (a)Florence Le Gac, Jean-Jacques Lareyre; (b)Yann GUIGUEN, Alexis FOSTIER
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)
Research Application: Sex control, puberty control, fertility control, spawning control
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
POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF MARCHE (UNIVPM); MARINE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT (DISMAR)
Research Group: Reproduction & Developmental Biology
Research Application: Fertility control, spawning control, broodstock management
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
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY, FACULTY OF SCIENCE, DEPT BIOLOGY
Research Group: Endocrinology & Metabolism
Research Application: Puberty control
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
Research Application: Sex control, puberty control, spawning control, broodstock management
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.
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
TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF MARINE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, DEPT OF MARINE BIOSCIENCES
Research Group: Fish physiology
Research Application: Fertility control, spawning control, broodstock management
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.
NEW JERSEY ACADEMY FOR AQUATIC SCIENCES
Research Application: Spawning control and broodstock management
Description of research: The New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences promotes the understanding, appreciation and protection of aquatic life and habitats through research, education and youth development programs. The Academy is active in species survival and conservation efforts. Research focuses on the study of the reproductive processes of aquatic animals to provide alternative means for breeding, or aquaculture. Currently a comprehensive study is being undertaken on the reproductive biology of Apogonidae, a large family of marine and mostly coral reef associated fishes. Research is in progress on the origin and direct development (lack of a planktonic dispersing larval stage) within this group and its phylogenetic significance. Other species the Academy studies are jellyfish, sea ravens, gobies, and the Bangaii cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni).
Lead researcher(s): Dr Alejandro A. Vagelli
Contact details: Director of Science & Conservation, New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103. Tel:(856) 361-1026; Fax:(856) 365-3318